"'Course!...it's not so bad...! R-ready...when you are..."
Latias didn’t believe a word of it, watching incredulously as the Doctor shakily rose into a standing position. Whilst concern was her overriding emotion, the legend’s scowl was creased with a soft-simmering anger. Don’t lie to me. No more secrets.
It was a gentle warning destined for the Abra’s mind only.
Before she had time to offer any kind of assistance, the doe seemed to materialize aside her. "...You sure? It looks like a long walk... and you could obviously use some rest. You're no use dead, you know. Don't worry-- I've got a strong back."
Latias watched the newcomer carefully, amber eyes searching for any signs of underlying corruption that might mar what otherwise seemed a pleasant initial impression. She found nothing, only a kindly smile that soothed the dragon’s unstable mind. Whilst she didn’t reciprocate the gesture, Latias made no move to protest as the Doctor accepted the lift.
Despite her natural distrust of the stranger, Latias could admit she was thankful of the Sawsbuck’s kindness. She herself was exhausted, sapped of energy and left weak from a day of internal turmoil. It was nice to be allowed a moment’s break – a moment when she wasn’t carrying another weight on her shoulders, literally or otherwise.
As the group made their way to the city, Buck heading the pack with a keen sense of direction, Latias drifted silently alongside the doe. Despite the warmth radiating for the newcomer, the legend was unwilling to stray too far from the Doctor. He was tempting death in his current condition – that was obvious – and she lingered, immovable in her aims to battle the reaper away. "Go ahead,"
She had lost time again, startled when she found herself staring at what would be the night’s lodgings. The journey had been a blur – not disorientating, but a slow-moving haze almost as if she’d been sleepwalking. Waking at Buck’s words, Latias took her cue to follow. She managed a tired smile at the Weavile, softly touching his arm as she passed. Thank you.
He’d got them to shelter in one piece despite an obvious agitation born from Alhoon’s appearance; his value in terms of navigation skills as well as a patience for his companions was quick to resonate in the dragon’s head.
As the door was closed, their haven temporarily shutting out all the evils that lurked beyond, Latias’ attention returned to the Doctor. She glided to his side with a quiet attentiveness, offering a hand as he dismounted his steed. “Sit,”
She spoke with a maternal firmness, ushering him towards the unclaimed couch. ”And don’t argue,”
No doubt he’d find some reason to sacrifice the privilege of this particular perch, offering it up to one more deserving when it was he who fit the description. Latias wasn’t going to tolerate his generosity – not this time. She met his gaze, amber eyes first hard then suddenly tender as she took in the sight. There was so much blood. It hurt her to see him in such a state; the upset strong enough to override a nagging hunger constricting her stomach. "So, you gonna tell us your name, new girl?"
She was thankful for the distraction, turning away from the Doctor and allowing her eyes to once again rest on the doe. But it was Hannibal who spoke in her place. “Sil’s an old friend,”
It was a surprise; one that evoked a series of conflicting emotions that only succeeded in worsening her headache.
She’d spent little time with the hound, but couldn’t deny his appearance was quite the deterrent, unsettling beneath that crusted mask. Whilst she couldn’t understand what purpose such a contraption served – in fact, coupled with his emaciated form, she saw it as more of a torture device – it unnerved her. Sil was sufficiently lacking in this suspicion – begging the question to which individual’s appearance was the one working to deceive.
After a moment’s pondering, Latias decided that perhaps it was Hannibal. Despite his looks, she’d known him as only a quiet gentleman lurking in the background. He’d provided berries for the wounded, he’d fought alongside them; he’d helped
. "You could say that, I guess,"
Sil’s reply, though not particularly emotive in any sense of the word, only strengthened the riddle of identities. They sat in opposite corners of the room, a peculiar tension erected as a wall between them. “We traveled together for a time, before getting separated. Not much to tell."Not much to tell…
Latias gave a quiet, but audible huff despite herself. Everyone
had a story to tell. The Doctor had his past, she had hers, and no doubt there was something sinister lurking in a history shared between these two oddities. Whilst part of her was undeniably curious to this morsel, she decided that it wasn’t her place to probe. As long as they proved no threat, then Latias was content. "So... you have names too, I'm guessing. Mind sharing?"“Latias,”
Too tired to elaborate, the legendary stated her name after a pause – voice fatigued but not unfriendly. Unaware of when exactly she’d moved into such a position, Latias sat aside the couch with her slim head resting on the arm. Her eyelids were heavy, threatening collapse as she breathed softly aside the Doctor’s ear. She had intended to seek out something to soothe his ailments, but her body was simply shutting down – detached from her mind as her own wellbeing intervened with her desire to help. Now, the thought was absent completely.
There was only the eternal, throbbing pain in the back of her neck keeping her conscious.