A/N: I hope you guys liked the first chapter…I guess you wouldn't be reading this one though, if you weren't at the very least interested… On with the story!
Chapter Title: The State in which They are Left
Disclaimer: I once dreamed about owning Capcom and Naughty Dog… but then I woke up… ):
Chapter note: I decided the rest of the chapters will be present tense, because it just makes it flow better in my opinion. Also, for the sake of not having Nero and Jak be completely confused, lets just pretend both worlds write in English and use the same currency.
He's not coming back, Dante thinks, lying miserable in bed for the third day in a row.
He's a mess, red and black sheets and blanket swirling around him, tangling him to the bed.
He looks awful. He looks sick. He is sick.
"Dante, get your lazy ass out of bed, before I shoot it!" a raven haired girl calls from just beyond his door.
"Go ahead, see if I care," is his only response, muffled by the door.
Lady gives the door an inquiring look, as if it has all of the answers, before kicking it forcefully open.
The sight that greets her nearly makes her step back and fall down the stairwell.
The state of her longtime friend is enough to have her concerned, pale hair dampened down to his skull, reminding her of their first meeting, dark purple and brown lining under his eyes, appearing almost bruised, skin looking sickly translucent, rivers of blue showing through just enough to make out. Besides all of that, he also looked tiny, the shirt he'd left on hanging loosely off of him.
Lady doesn't even have the heart to be cruel to him today, or even mention the money due, and that's just wrong.
She moves forward, kneeling down beside the hunter, wiping slicked-down strands away from his eyes. "You okay, Dante?" she asks gently, a small touch of maternal instinct laced in her voice.
"I get the feeling that if I said 'yes,' you wouldn't believe me," he said with a weak smirk that quickly dropped from his face. No, he decides. I'm definitely not okay…
"C'mon," Lady orders softly, concern and exasperation making their way to her face. Her hand now looped around his back, she helped him from the tangled mess that was his bed. "Let's get you in the shower, you might feel better," she encourages, dragging him to the shower stall of his room rather than the one in the bathroom down the hall; she can't picture having to help him down the stairs.
She gets down the stairs at a leisurely pace to get a towel for him, deciding on the softest and largest, also happening to be the reddest. Maybe it'll comfort him, at least a little, she thinks.
Nero silently thanks whatever deity he thought must have been watching over him as he sees the boatman finally pull up to a piece of land that seemed to have a sort of wall towards the end. Nero wanted off the boat as fast as possible; the boat's ride not close to the smoothness of the ferry he took to Capulet. The sailor, however, catches the young man by the shoulder.
"Stay a while," the man starts. "I may not know much about the city, but I might be able to answer some of your questions while I wait for Jak," he explains.
Nero thinks a moment, before questioning: "What is this place? It looks like it used to be a hamlet or something, but it's all torn up now."
"Well, the citizens in Haven call it 'Dead Town,' a lot of those that did live in it are dead from old age, or are too young to remember it being called Sandover Village," he says, sitting down by Nero, backs against the boat interior.
They share friendly banter for a good hour, the elder answering questions the younger had before a man with blonde and green hair donning a blue tunic appeared at the entry to the city. An orange rat seemed to be asleep on his shoulder plate.
"Hope I didn't keep you waiting too long, Fisher," he calls. He looks around Nero's age and, on closer inspection and they're also around the same height, but the faerie shares the long, pointy ears of the fisherman.
"Nah," The man, Fisher, responds. "I shared some company with… what's yer name again?"
"Nero," the human responds, realizing they'd never shared names until now.
"Is he leaving the city with us?" the blonde questions.
"Afraid not, the crazy kid's actually moving to take yer place!" the old man laughs.
The young faerie gives the white-haired teen a perplexed look.
"I just…needed to get away," Nero awkwardly answers the faerie's silent question.
The other gives a wry smile. "I know the feeling," he opens his beige pack, fishing out a few things. He hands Nero a small object resembling a compact mirror. Upon opening it, he sees a flickering photo of the male who gave it to him.
"That will get you in and out of the city and past all of the security points. Any information you might need is probably available in the data-log, which will come up if you press that red button at the top," he walks Nero through the device, gesturing to the glowing red button.
"It will also let you contact people who have scanned it and traces their device and yours, so you can find anyone," he hesitates a moment. "Here," he reaches for it, and seems to have a short conversation, the other end sounding like a female voice. "'Kay, thanks, Tess," he says, ending the call. "If you follow the beacon on the map, that'll take you to my friend, Tess, at the shooting range. She'll take care of you until you figure everything out."
Reaching into his own bag, Nero hands Jak a book and his phone. "The book will document most of the things you come across, and when you get back to land, go to contacts and call Lady, tell her Nero told you to. She'll probably take care of you, too."
Fisher waits patiently for Jak to hop in the boat, the three bidding each other farewell, thinking it would probably be for the last time.
Ashelin lands a harsh smack to the man in front of her, as if hoping to knock some sense into him.
"What's your problem?! If you're so upset about him leaving, why don't you go after him?!"
"It's not up to me if he decides to leave or stay in this city," Torn responds solemnly. "Besides, the kid's probably long gone already…"
The male faerie really wishes this wasn't happening. He wishes that there was a city to save, or a mission to plan and direct… Hell, even having to pry the crocadog off Samos was better than this! He wanted something to be distracting him from Jak's departure, not Ashelin shoving it in his face that he let his love go forever. Not Ashelin scolding him over it.
Ashelin let go of his shirt for a moment, doing something with her ID chip. "The scans show that he's still in the city. Looks like he might have forgotten something with Tess."
Torn shows his exasperation with a sigh. "I told you already; it's not my choice if he leaves or stays. Shouldn't we just let him go?"
Ashelin sends something between a smirk and a glare to her brotherly friend. "Not without a fight."
A/N: Wow…long chapter is long… only by a few hundred words than the last one, though. I wasn't expecting it to take so long for me to write it, but I'm fairly happy with how it turned out.
The review box is located rather conveniently just below this to tell me what you liked, what you didn't like and/or errors that I made so that I can fix stop making them if you have time or feel like it.
See you next chapter! ^_^