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11 December 2009 @ 06:52 pm
063 Hours  
Title: Darkness Overwhelming
Fandom: Mystic Force
Pairing: N/A
Rating: 15
Disclaimer: Not mine.
Summary/Warnings: Somewhere, all wishes come true. Zoe's having problems.
Word Count: 638 / 52 682
Author's notes: My table is here.

063 Hours

“I’m so bored,” Zoe complained, throwing herself down beside Clare.

“You can stir this,” Clare offered.

“Oh, wow. Stirring stew.” Zoe glanced towards the door. “I wanna go out, but Xander won’t let me.”

“Well, it’s dangerous outside,” Clare said placidly.

“I lived out there for months.”

“In a gang. Which you abandoned. Won’t they come after you if they realise you’re outside?”

“God!” Zoe threw the wooden spoon into the bowl, hard enough to splatter stew everywhere. “I just want out of here for a little while. Breathe some semi-clear air. You’ve been in here longer than I have, doesn’t it drive you crazy?”

“A little,” Clare admitted. “But I don’t much want to be caught, so…” She shrugged. “I make do. Why don’t you ask Xander if you can go up to the field with him in the mornings?”

“I have. But I’m too little and delicate. I might stub my toe.”

“Or you might be hurt. Xander’s afraid of losing you again.”

“He didn’t lose me the first time!”

“Yeah. He did.”

Zoe looked away, fishing the spoon out of the stew. “That should prove I can take care of myself.”

“He doesn’t want you to have to. You’re Little Sister, he’s Big Brother. He didn’t protect you the first time, so he’s not letting anything happen to you this time.”

“Hey, little tip, Zo?” Xander crouched beside them, smiling. “Don’t bother the chef. She will make you sorry.”

“She wasn’t bothering me,” Clare said quickly. “She was just helping out.”

“I won’t bother next time,” Zoe said angrily, scrambling to her feet and stalking off to the furthest corner.

Xander buried his face in his hands, breathing several curses. “What am I doing wrong?” he demanded, lowering his hands. “She was smiling with you!”

“I don’t have any authority over her. It’s easy to smile with me,” Clare told him. “She needs to get out of here for a bit.”

“You’ve been inside longer than she has.” Clare studied him, and he smiled uncertainly. “What?”

“You two are more alike than you think. That’s what she said as well…it’s not as dangerous for her. Let her go get food. She’s bored, that’s why she’s so angry.” She thought for a moment. “Maybe let her keep watch with Vida some night. When you’re that bored, minutes feel like hours. Let her be useful.”

“She doesn’t sleep enough. She has nightmares.”

“Don’t we all. I can give her something, let her sleep for hours. No dreams.”

Xander was looking at her oddly. “Are you having nightmares still, Clare?”

“Stop that. I’m not talking to our leader, I’m talking to her brother. What did she like to do? Before?”

“Mostly outdoors stuff. Sports. She was into swimming…good at it, too, she won prizes. She didn’t read, much…she did like that origami stuff. That’s about the only indoor thing she did.”

“Ok. So get some more paper, ask her to brighten this place up. There must be somewhere in town you could get it.”

“If it hasn’t been burnt,” he muttered, but he was nodding. “That’s a great idea, Clare. Thanks.”

“Outsiders see more clearly sometimes.”

“You’re not an outsider.”

She shook her head quickly. “Outside you two, I meant. You can’t see her for guilt; she can’t see you for grief. Let her be useful, and she won’t have as much time to be angry at you.”

“Yeah,” Xander sighed, looking over at his sister. “Better go make up. I’m coming back to talk to you,” he added.

“Nick’s got you covered. I’m alright. Go talk to Zoe before she swings back around to being angry at you.”

Xander nodded, crossing to sit next to Zoe. Clare watched them murmur for a moment, until Zoe leaned against Xander; then she turned her attention back to the stew.