“This is boring!” exclaimed Daniel as he leaned on the stack of documents before him. Serenity who sat besides him, had nothing to say at this point. This was Daniel’s third outburst, Serenity and I were beginning to agree with him. It had been two days since I had returned home and I immediately applied my efforts to find out more about the heartless. Starting with bringing my medallion to Serenity, she had a sketch made and sent it out to all her contacts, after that is was simply a matter of waiting, so we decided to skim through mountains of mission reports from other secros to see if we could find even the smallest lead.
Daniel was not so fond of spending the day skimming through reports, he was very verbal about it in fact. On the brighter side, this was the first time I had seen him act so melodramatically in a long time. He was returning back to his chipper, carefree self ever since I came back. It was a relief to see that he wasn’t depressed anymore, at least on the outside. I knew that he was still deeply troubled, just yesterday he constantly stirred in his sleep and woke up in a sweat. Of Course I was there to comfort him, but he never bothered to mention what he was dreaming about.
“Anavari I’m bored!” Said Daniel as he leaned over my shoulder. I set my report aside and placed my arm around the human’s shoulder.
“Why don’t you get us something to eat, love?” I offered. “Serenity and I can handle things while you’re gone.” Daniel jumped at the prospect of doing anything other than looking at files.
“I’ll make sure to take my sweet time then!” said Daniel as he bolted out.
“Good to see him back to his old self,” said Serenity with a sigh. “His energy is a bit too much, but it’s better than him being depressing and quiet .”
“Recent events have us all changing,” I said as I placed the documents aside. “There’s still something that bothers him however.”
“Shouldn’t you ask him about that stuff?” Asked Serenity tossing a report aside and moving on to another. She tossed that one aside a few seconds later.
“Daniel and I have a complicated relationship when it comes to personal problems,” I said. “We both came from pasts that we would rather forget, in my case I appear to have taken it a bit too literally. So shortly after we met we both agreed that we would not inquire about our past life, and if we were to find out about it we would not let it affect how we see each other. We saw it as starting over.”
“So you think what’s troubling him has something to do wit his past?” asked Serenity.
“I am sure of it,” I said with a nod. “He may tell me one day and he may not, regardless I will be there for support.” I expected a reply from Serenity but none came, I looked up from the report in my hand and found her staring at me with an unamused expression. “Is something amiss?” I asked.
“You sure know how to handle these relationship issues…” mused Serenity. “Almost like you’ve dealt with them before.” a smirk spread across her face and I arched an eyebrow.
“What is your point?” I asked.
“Well, I’m just wondering if you’re withholding information from me,” shrugged Serenity. “and here I thought we were friends.”
“What are you talking about? I gave Slim everything I know relating to my condition as a heartless.”
“Yeah, but what about everything else? You haven’t told me the more juicy details.” The human leaned in, her grin grew sinister. “Particularly the ones about this ‘Garfas’ character I’ve heard about.”
“W-Wha—?” I stammered. “We will leave Garfas out of this!”
“It was him wasn’t it?” Said Serenity, the excitement of receiving some new information was practically floating from her voice. That was an informant for you. “So when are you going to tell me about him?”
“Your interest on the subject is noted, Serenity,” I said, “but I will not be—” I cut myself off as I remembered that I had not spoken to Garfas since before the fight with Salus. “I need to go, I just remembered something important I need to attend to.” I stood from my seat and made my way to the door in a hurried pace. “We can continue the document scanning later,” was what I said before Serenity even had a chance to object.
I was making my way through the high roads of the city, overlooking many of the lower districts. A road that lead up the local bank was where I would normally meet Garfas, I suspected that he always had a visual of the location, since he would know whenever I was sitting down in a particular bench. I found it, and fortunately no one was sitting down on it. So I strode over, sat down and waited. And I continued to wait, to well over an hour.
I sighed as I concluded that he probably wasn’t going to show. I was disheartened to say the least, I wanted to apologize to him for not being around. I glanced down to my prosthetic and opened the metallic hand. Closely looking at at the faintly clicking mechanism. By now I could properly make a fist and open my hand at will. It took several hours of practice but it was progress, my reactions with it were still a bit sluggish however. There was always the habit of doing things with two hands as well, doing mostly anything was a challenge now. I had to relearn everything, putting on clothes with one hand, writing with my left hand, using simple firearms, even my magic wouldn’t respond correctly because of my constant frustrations. It felt like the arm was hiding underneath the stump, and I was begging for it to simply just leap out of the flesh and make me whole again. But it would not, I would have to settle with what I had at my disposal, and that was a left arm for a right handed charr. Fortunately Daniel was there to help me with whatever I needed, and I was grateful for his support, I needed it.
“What happened to you?” Garfas’ solemn voice made my eyes shoot towards him. He was standing right in front of me. His eyes were as distraught as his voice, he looked like he was on the verge of tears as he stared at my arm. I was frozen underneath his gaze, I was once again a flustered cub underneath his protection. I tore myself out of that mindset, I was not that person anymore, as much as I wanted to be it was impossible. I had changed, he had changed, as well as our lives. And I loved him, I truly did, but it dawned on me that the relationship I had with him now and the one we had back in the citadel, was different.
“So…” I began, “We were a mated couple?” Garfas was taken aback by the question, his eyes widened as he frowned, then they narrowed.
“You disappear for weeks and come back with one less arm and that’s the first thing you have to say?!” I simply smiled at him. “What are you smiling for, can’t you see I’m pissed?!” I couldn’t control myself, I released a chuckle which only made Garfas don a mixture of disbelief, outrage, and confusion. My chuckle erupted into full laughter that was short lived. I felt my prosthetic climb up to my head and sweep back my hair. My laughing became restrained sobbing, and my other hand came up to wipe away the tears that were forming.
“I thought you wouldn’t come,” I said doing my best to keep myself from falling apart in front of him. “I thought I had lost you. I don’t know what I would have done if…” I felt Garfas sit down next to me, his arm wrapped around me and drew me in close, like he used to. “I had forgotten about you, but you remembered… I’m so sorry.” I felt him reach out and hold my “real” hand. The soft pads on his palm rubbed against mine.
“You don’t have to apologize for anything, cub,” said Garfas. “You just had me worried, that’s all.”
“There was a fight,” I began to explain. “A leader from the organization I belonged to betrayed us. I fought him, and hesitated. He impaled me through the chest, and I lived.” I separated myself from Garfas and he looked at me with concern, eyes wide as if searching for the right words.
“So you know,” he said finally.
“And much more,” I said. “I remembered what I am, I remembered how you found out. Garfas, I asked you before if I had ever mentioned someone known as ‘the heartless one’ and you said no.”
“I did,” said Garfas crossing his arms. “But that was because you never mentioned your condition in such a way. You just called it that, your ‘condition’. There was never a title that went along with it. Also knowing that you’re missing a vital organ branches out to too many memories, I couldn’t even hint at it, you could have remembered too much all at once. You needed to find that out on your own.”
“I see,” I said. I drew my gaze away from him and stared into the afternoon sky. I remained silent for just a moment longer, preparing myself for what I was about to ask. “I need to remember faster, Garfas. There is a group of assassins that want me for some reason.” I knew the information I was divulging was extremely confidential, but if it would help me find out why the Fringe wants me then it was worth the risk. Besides, other than Daniel, there was no one I trusted more than Garfas. Garfas looked at me with even more disbelief now.
“Cub, what the hell did you get yourself into?” He asked. “I thought you were a courier.”
“I never mentioned to you that I was a courier,” I said arching an eyebrow.
“I followed you around for a couple of years, cub,” said Garfas. “You walked around all over the place giving people packages and letters. That sounds like a courier to me.” I nodded in agreement, not at all phased by the fact that Garfas had been stalking me for years it seems. I probably would have done the same for him if he were in my position.
“Well I’m a bit more than a courier,” I said. “I can’t exactly explain, its confidential.” Garfas simply groaned in frustration.
“So you said a group of assassins,” The white charr scratched his chin as he pondered. “They want you and you don’t know why?”
“Well they want me because I am ‘a heartless’,” I said. “Apparently it’s a faction they are against maybe? They are threatening my entire organization, unless I turn myself in.”
“Which is not an option,” affirmed Garfas. “Weird organization or not, you’re not about to just give yourself up to them. We’re Charr, cub. You may not be from the citadel but I know you. You don’t give in, just like the best of us.”
“I didn’t plan on turning myself in,” I said. “You don’t need to worry about that. But I need something. Anything. My life and the lives of the entire organization are at stake here. I can’t stand the thought of putting them in danger!” Garfas slouched and sighed heavily.
“Alright,” he said. “Maybe we can find a way around the spell. Either way you’re supposed to be remembering more and more things at this point.”
“Thank you, Garfas,” I said with a sigh of relief. “So what should we do?”
“Verbal triggers are what can cause the most damage,” He began, “But those are very few, and I know all of them so that I know not to say them by accident. Visual triggers however are not so extreme. They’ll probably just give you the event in which they were relevant, and from there the memory can branch out and slowly give you more information.”
“Excellent!” I said excited to find a lead. “So what should we start with?”
“Give me a minute to think about what’s safe enough for you to handle,” Garfas said as he immediately absorbed himself in his thoughts. I sat next to him waiting impatiently, there were also other things I wanted to ask him.
“So…” I began. “You and me. We were—”
“Yes,” answered Garfas immediately and with nonchalance.
“And did we—”
“Many, many times,” he answered with the same indifference.
“A bit open with that information are you not?” I asked remembering how reserved he was of all my other memories.
“Well those memories don’t really branch out to other things,” shrugged Garfas. “So it’s safe for me to give them to you, after the fact that you found out that we were a couple that is.”
“We were,” I echoed. I heard Garfas wince at the realization that he probably said something he shouldn’t have. “So it’s safe to assume that we’re not together anymore.”
“No, cub…” said Garfas. “Sorry.”
“Is there even a reason for you to apologize about it?” I asked. “could have been my fault for all I know.”
“Well I can’t really answer that question,” he said. “But they were happy times, I can’t stop feeling sorry for the both of us, you know? But you have that human don’t you, Daniel, right?” I nodded, remembering that he was probably back in Serenity’s mansion by now.
“Yes,” I said. “And I’m happy with him. He’s been helping me get used to using this.” I raised my fake arm towards Garfas. He looked at the limb solemnly and then smiled.
“I’m happy for you, cub,” he said. “Not about the fact you lost an arm of course, but happy that you found someone. Hold on to him, he’s pretty cute for a mouse.” I wasn’t sure how to take all of this new information. I knew that Garfas was someone special to me, and he still is. Going through the trouble of taking care of me while I recovered my memories, possibly leaving the citadel just because of me. Following and watching over me for years on top of that. I couldn’t be more thankful. I knew that things were different for the both of us however. We were still very close, but not lovers. Where did we stand with each other?
“I thought of something,” Said Garfas as he stood from his bench. “The best part of it is I don’t even have to show you because you have it. At least I think you still have it.”
“What is it?” I asked immediately.
“That sword you always have with you,” Said Garfas. “You haven’t lost it have you?”
“Of course not!” I said. “It’s my special sword I would never lose it.”
“Good,” nodded Garfas. “Next time you see it, look at it closely, and think about why it’s so special to you.” With that Garfas began to make his way up the road. “I gotta go, if I’m gonna be triggering some memories, I need to look at my notes!”
“When can I see you again?” I called out as he left.
“Give me two days!” And he disappeared into the city. I lingered for a moment, thinking about what would come next. I was still concerned about what would happen once I recovered all my memories. Part of me wanted to ask Garfas, but I was afraid what he would say. I knew the person that was released when I remembered everything, I knew that he was a possible outcome. And despite my promise I made to Daniel, I was not sure if I really could stop myself from becoming him. I returned to Serenity’s mansion, knowing what I had to do next. I needed my sword.