One-Eyed Insomnia

hotel nowhere's sudden uptick in activity has left everybody exhausted, and seek already had sleep issues to begin with. tonight, seek falls asleep in a certain place, near a certain person, perhaps accidentally, perhaps not.

AO3 Mirror Here

Another long night of work.

But it was not work, not paid, and definitely not given worker's rights. It was merely a position pushed onto whatever lingered around the hotel, to keep it in the same lingering eternity it has been in. It could be compared to a relic of the past, and even a single stranger's entrance was considered a threat to that duty. In the recent weeks, though, it had become much more than the occasional rat. The mystery of this place was presumably ratted out, because what was once barely an issue to this limbonic place was now an infestation of the rats. Tourists, explorers, whatever the name was, continued to just flood inwards, and while most could be stopped in their tracks and exterminated, some would flee, brag to whatever lied out there (because nobody here remembered anything of the outside world, other than the pinpricks of conversational details overheard), and thus, the issue worsened.

Seek considered this extermination just another part in the usual, or at least on the outside, treated it as such. Not much cracked through the stoic eye, the whispering serious tone when mumbling to himself a hope of the infestation dying down, and to return to that ever-limbo state of only having themselves. What was once quiet was not, and on the inside of Seek's ink, was a secret new annoyance for the lack of this quiet. But for now, remained a small peace in the air, and with this break in location and chase-down, came a time to feel anything other than adrenaline. More, exhaustion, weak arms, tired legs, both begging to be back into a single puddle and relax for just a little bit before being given form again. Despite the physical aches, Seek wanted this mere pause of it all to last for as long as possible. A quiet room to just sit down would be the Light's miracle.

And it knew just where to go for that yearning of rest -- the quietest place around.

A small library, and libraries are, well, meant to be quiet. And surely, Figure would not mind if Seek was there, just for not too long. They were used to each other, more than the passing-by and quick conversation that Figure lent the other entities. Perhaps a bit...close.

The door opened with that usual noise, that alerting jingle of a bell set on top of the doors. It was there just for Figure to hear. And then, nothing. Figure was usually quiet, and surely, it would've heard the bell.

Figure was not there at all, which was both a good, and a bad thing. It didn't leave the library that often, but at least it was extra time for Seek's hopings of a break from the nonsense of tourists. Its hands scraped across a bookshelf -- and on the slight outdent of one half-falling out, that book was the lucky pick of the day. As per a lot of what Seek was, one of the many secrets was that, while at this extended stay, Seek was an avid reader -- but there was one issue it had to hop through first, and that was the entirety of the library was in braille. It also hadn't taken too long for Seek to pick up braille, and all it needed to do that was one weird tip.

Keep Figure in mind and in heart, and do it for Figure.

With that, Seek dragged itself over to a nearby chair. Each step echoed those cranky aches in the heel, shocking up to a pain in the knee, into the hips, and so on. Too much running -- Rush probably slacking off a bit as well, adding to what Seek needed to do around the hallways. Every single second, only one thought repeated itself.


Seek lowered itself into that chair, opened up what it had picked -- something it couldn't remember the first sentence of, so that was a good sign. Something new to calm the nerves. One eye stared down at the pages, and the library remained quiet and without interruption. What was Figure up to, anyways? The legs still ached, would probably be like that for quite a while. Nice, lovely, dead quietness. Just a few more pages, and then it'd check outside the doors again, and back to the book, and-- And without warning, exhaustion caught up to what usually caught up to the exhausted.

Seek's head made a slight bang on the table. Fast and cold, it had fallen asleep, and with that, it melted away into two puddles -- a large mess on the chair and floor, and a small bit of ooze left over as a bookmark. Hidden out of plain sight, at least.

And if any daring hotel tourists were near the library at this point, it would stay quiet for quite a while. Maybe somebody slipped through this crack. Then, the entrance of somebody else, the usual dweller. Those quiet, low clicks, the make-sures of not running into the pillars that held the place upon itself (though, like all other things, mistakes were made in this sometimes). And then, Figure stepping into that bit of sludge on the floors, and several sudden worries peering up. Seek usually slept where nobody could find it, and perhaps, Figure could just set that right and give Seek what it usually does in the first place. Adjustments. A small drawer nobody touches, the couch in the corner, and then remaining there, listening for that beat of silent life from Seek. Everything was ok now, as Seek would like it, hidden away while in that vulnerable position of well-needed rest.

A flag next to the hole in a golf course. The sign before the turn. The guardian for that valued, vulnerable something, is what Figure felt. Vulnerable. Vulnerable was the people who tried their best to sneak through, and failed, and had bones break against wooden-panelled flooring, and heads popped off like the snap of two cherries from the stem. But this vulnerable Seek was a vulnerable that had to be kept alive at all costs, for Figure could tolerate Seek at the very least, if not a lot more of other feelings that do not have a single word to be put to them except for a loving care that could only sprout from situations like living here. The vulnerable heartbeats of two monsters was all that sounded. And if anything dared to disrupt that lovely symphony, it would be ended with the sound of a guardian's never-last kill.

And fortunately for the two, this peace had lasted until, then, Seek opened that eye. The material its head rested on felt much softer than what it had fallen asleep on, taking quick glances -- it had been moved. The uncertainties of this awoke Seek faster than that time Screech had yelled in its ear, and without that uncomfortable ringing in the ear after. And what was that weight on the back?

A quick solidification of an arm to try and pull it off, and it was a rather thick blanket, one of the wooly ones Figure kept hidden for itself. Such valuable things as something nice to sleep under were always up for grabs -- no matter how long the entities here had lived with each other, they still tended to break that one boundary. There would always be than every-man-for-itself mentality as long as they dwelled here, for as long as that something kept them here. Before Seek could glance up at Figure, Figure had already heard the stand-by sleeping turn a bit louder.

"Awake?" it asked, but didn't expect an answer back.

A slight yawn before a response came from Seek, and then it mumbled, "Yes. Where did you put me?"

"Somewhere better than before." Figure's words were raspy. A throat now always burnt by the noises it made to visitors it didn't want, a show of fierce monstrosities. If only it didn't have to do those.

"Still in your abode, right?"

"Where else?"

Thoughts, impulses, came into Seek's head. Those sorts of things one only does when they're comfortable around somebody else. And then, the plunge into that thought -- Seek shuffled its head a little, then the body, and then slumped right back down into a sitting Figure's lap. The feeling of Figure's skin would not be pleasant for anybody who wasn't touch-starved, and everybody here was touch-starved enough. Leathery, like the hide of some animal only spoken of in the leftovers of medieval tale.

"Right here is fine, too."

Figure felt that cold, in-love head on the thighs. Flustered, but accepting of such a gift, the thick claw lifting up to give Seek another blanket -- the hand landed on Seek's back with a dove's gentle touch. These claws had killed, and would kill again, but not for now. For now, these claws were for loving Seek the way anybody deserved. Neither of them would know or remember after how long this moment lasted, because even such simple things as relaxing with the warm bodies of one another touching could last an eternity after a blizzard of stress. It was their forever to cherish. A warmth like the fire in the heart, and if the two could make it last forever, it would. No words were spoken -- Figure tended to only speak when spoken to, and Seek was relishing in being held, and probably too relaxed to speak, like a cat laying in a sunlight that has never shown itself around the hotel.

A lovely forever when forevers were all the two ever knew.

Still, forever is a broken concept, as time still passed, and it had already been awfully long. Then came something Figure picked up long before Seek ever would -- someone was coming, and its hand pulled off of Seek's back, before speaking up about it.

"Tourist again. None of us sound that light on the feet." Except for Halt, maybe?, a footnote in Figure's voice left as a thought. A moment ruined, but Figure could surely sit back down and talk about whatever Seek was up to before this after, after the unwelcome were dealt with.

"You always pick up on them so early...uh. Dear. Is it ok if I call you that? Just once?" A heartbeat picked up to speed in Seek's chest, both from the anxieties of upcoming onslaught, and from whatever it had just said -- it was obviously in love, but why? But that question must be saved for later, if not buried under the grave. Love was a senseless thing like that.

"It's fine." With the confirmation of pet-name, the two stood up from that loveseat of a couch, with Seek then giving Figure one last glance. Most would find something like it disgusting, but it was a sight that Seek had grown to adore. The outwards ribcage was for toying around with, and if Seek had a mouth, they surely would've kissed by now.

"Both of us, Seek?"

"Yes, dear," and the slight noise of a lovestruck note at the end, from a mouth that couldn't wait.

Just one of them was a formidable foe for the people who came around. The two of them? At once?

An unstoppable force for whatever was to come.