The nine stitchpunks came running into the main hall of the cathedral. They breathed heavily, trying to get their breath back, 1 and 2 found themselves sitting on the floor in seconds, being the oldest they weren't made for travelling far especially not at that pace. After about five minutes 1 spoke up.
"Never again … are we … going to try … that!" he said between gasps, 7 didn't have any energy, or breath, left to have a full-blown argument with the leader so she ended up almost apologizing.
"Yeah, that didn't go exactly go to plan."
"Didn't exactly go to plan? We got chased by that infernal beast most of the way back here!"
"It's not my fault!"
"You should have studied the beast further! In case you haven't noticed some of us shouldn't be made to run the majority of the way back from the library!" 1 shouted at the warrior, 7 narrowed her eyes.
"Me? You're blaming me?"
"Yes, as a matter of fact, I am."
"That's not fair, how is any one supposed to know what direction the cat beast is going to turn next! No matter how long you study that thing you'll never be able to figure it out! It changes unexpectedly, at least I made us set off when it was furthest away!" 9 didn't want to listen to this argument anymore, so he interrupted before 1 had the chance to answer back.
"This is getting nowhere! It was no one's fault, all that matters is we're all back and we're safe. Now I suggest we get a fire going and we all get some rest." 7 nodded.
"Me, 9 and 5 will find stuff for the fire, the rest of you gather stuff we can use for beds or at least blankets." 1 narrowed his eyes at 7's order, he was the leader not her, but he couldn't disagree so he slowly got to his feet and walked to the nearest pile of rubble to begin his search.
5 walked over to 2, just to check if he was okay, the elder was slowly standing up. 5 put a hand on 2's shoulder once he was on his feet.
"2 are you okay?"
"Yes, I'll … be … fine-" The inventor suddenly fell into 5's arms, 5 quickly laid 2 on the ground and leant over him.
"2! 2? Are you okay?" 2's eyes blinked slowly.
"I'll be fine, I'm just … tired, don't worry about… me." 5 sighed, his mentor was old and weak but persistent, he worried that one day 2 would end up really hurting himself.
"Tired? 2 you're exhausted! I'm gunna take you over to the wall so you'll be more comfortable." 2 nodded, he was proud of his apprentice he seemed to know better than him sometimes, 5 scooped up the elder and carried him over to the wall as he said he would. "Now don't move, don't try and do anything just rest." 2 rolled his eyes, "I mean it 2." The inventor laughed at this.
"I won't, I promise, now you have a job to do."
"You're right, I'll be back to check on you once the fires ready." 2 nodded and 5 slowly turned and left.
5 ran up to 9 and 7 who were half way across the room now.
"Hay 5, what happened back there?" 9 asked.
"It's 2, he's exhausted, he collapsed I had to carry him over to the wall so he could rest." 7 sighed and looked over at 5.
"I feel terrible," she knew she could never say this to 1 and 8 but when she was with the others she knew she could show her weaknesses, "2 wouldn't be like that if I'd have studied the beast more. I can't believe I let that happen." She stopped and turned away from them, 5 walked over to her and turned her to face him.
"7, what happened today wasn't your fault. You did your best to get us back as safe as possible and we all made it back in one piece!" 7 tried to interrupt but 5 continued, "Sure 2's tired, as are we all, but you mustn't blame yourself. It wasn't your fault and you couldn't have stopped it."
"You're welcome, now the quicker we get the fire going the quicker we get to go and rest." 7 and 9 nodded and the walked to the nearest pile searching for wood suitable for fires.
Soon enough they returned to find 6 had disappeared, the twins slowly cataloguing a button they'd found and 8 and 1 finishing off dragging material over to an already large pile of cloth.
"Ah! Your back, there is a blanket for everyone and some spare for pillows if needed, now if you wouldn't mind getting the fire started, I would like to get some rest." 1 ordered when he laid eyes on the three younger 'punks, then he turned and went to sit on a plank of wood.
"Well that's good, now we just need to make the fire." 9 said hopefully as he rested the wood he was carrying at his feet.
"Yeah," 5 agreed doing the same with his collection of wood and also placing his bag on the floor, "oh! Can you guys start on the fire while I check on 2?" his two friends nodded and got to work. 5 grabbed a blanket and a pillow, which was a small lace handkerchief and a small scrap of felt, and walked over to where he had left 2. He found the elder slumped against the wall, as he'd left him, but in a deep sleep. 5 chuckled lightly at the sight, 2 didn't really give into sleep but when his body did he looked so sweet and peaceful, he gently laid 2 on the ground and placed the pillow under his head. After gently covering his mentor with the blanket he brought he returned to 9 and 7 seeing that they had already finished building the fire and it was now glowing a calming orange against the darkness of the night. 5 wondered how long it had been this dark, he must have been too tired to notice, but he shrugged off the thought and joined 9 in sitting on a brick. 7 walked over to them but decided to sit a on the floor with the fire gently warming her back.
"How's 2?" she asked, only letting concern edge her voice slightly as 1 could choose to listen in at any moment.
"He's fine, he's asleep… Very asleep." He added with a slight laugh.
"That's good, so what should we do now?" 9 asked, he didn't seem as tired as the others but you could see by his posture his body wanted to rest.
"I'm happy just sitting here, it's warm and nice." 7 answered smiling to herself and absently looking down at her feet.
"Hm, yeah…" 5 agreed, "where are the twins and 6?"
"6 is drawing round the corner and the twins are looking around for things to catalogue." 7 answered plainly, it struck 5 as odd that she wasn't occasionally looking around to see if anything had changed as she usually did maybe she was just as tired as he was.
After sitting in a comfortable silence for about five minutes 5 spoke up.
"I'm getting tired, we should really go to sleep." 7 nodded in agreement, slowly got to her feet and stretched. Just as she was about to suggest going and finding the twins, 3 and 4 slowly wondered towards them, dragging their feet and trying to keep their heads up.
"Come on you two," she walked up to the silent pair and let them rest against her sides as she wondered over to the pile of cloth 1 and 8 had collected. "5 can you sort 6 out?"
"Me? But he's usually calmer around you."
7 picked up a large blanket big enough for the three of them. "I beg to differ! 5 you're a brother to him, he looks up to you. Also I have these two to sort out. 6, now please." 5 rolled his eyes and wondered around the corner.
He spotted 6 kneeling over a piece of paper, very slowly sketching something he looked as if he drew a line so long that he would have to move from the position he was in he would simply fall on the paper through exhaustion.
"The … Source … hmm … s … source …" He murmured, 5 looked round to see that 9 had followed him and was peering over at 6 looking both worried and curios.
"Don't worry, he does that, usually he draws till he passes out. We try to stop him from doing that so often though, it can't be good for him." 9 nodded in agreement. 5 looked back at 6 and sighed the seer was like a little brother, he was so scared earlier when they were being chased.
They had been walking along and 6 suddenly stopped, 5 had rushed over and placed his hands on his shoulders. The profit just sudden started screaming "it's coming." Then cat beast, out of nowhere, attacked. Somehow they all managed to avoid it but 7 couldn't get a good shot it with her spear so they ended up running, for what seemed like forever.
5 went to 6's side, not that he noticed, and looked down at the art in progress. 5 knew it was the symbols that the seer usually drew but it was very roughly drawn, all most unrecognisable. 5 bent down and pulled 6 up by his waist and started dragging 6 away from his drawings and up to a brick wall.
"No! Drawing! 5! Don't! Drawing!" 6 whined as he struggled against 5.
"6 you're not drawing all night! You'll just collapse again and then where would we be?"
"Here. Drawing!" 6 said stubbornly, the medic rolled his eyes and continued to pull the younger stitchpunk away. "Drawing! 5! Drawing! Please! Don't! Need to! Let me! Drawing!" 6's struggles eventually got weaker and weaker and when 5 slid down the wall and sat on the floor he let himself get pulled down too.
"6 stop it! You are not drawing any more today, you are going to sleep." 5 told the seer, 6 still tried to reach for his drawing. The one-eyed 'punk put his arms around the younger ones chest and leant the seer against him. "Please stop struggling, you can draw tomorrow I promise." 6 relaxed in 5's arms, 5 rested the seers head in his lap.
"Drawing…" 6 murmured as he weakly put out his arms to his art then slowly drew his hands to his chest and curled up. "The … s … sor …source."
"I know 6, I know. You can draw it tomorrow." 5 said softly as he began rub the seers back.
"Why does he do that?" 9 asked, 5 looked up just remembering his friend was there.
"Oh, the drawing or the murmuring?"
"Well both I suppose."
"We're not quite sure but 2 thinks 6 has visions, you know, of the future and stuff and that he draws what he sees." The medic looked down at his young brother who was just about asleep.
"Is that what you think?"
"Well it's the only logical explanation. Well drawing makes him happy and whether he's a psychic or not, that's all that matters." 5 said and smiled up at his friend.
"Your close, aren't you?" 9 asked as he sat in front of the pair and lowering his voice slightly so 6 wouldn't wake up.
"Yeah, he's like a little brother to me…" 6 began shivering and drawing himself in closer to 5. "Oh, 9 could you go get a blanket for him, I should have brought one but I forgot."
"Yeah of course, just a moment." 9 walked round to the corner to see that 7 and the twins were all cuddled up together against a book and that 1 and 8 had disappeared. He grabbed three blankets and a pillow the headed back to 5 and 6.
"Hay, it's okay 6, it's alright." 5 whispered to his brother, 9 walked over and covered 6 in one of the blankets and gave another to 5 who wrapped it round his own shoulders. "Thanks."
"You're welcome." 9 set down his pillow, laid down just in front of his two friends, and drifted into a deep and well needed sleep.