Sound and light and solidity came back, in a thump of bodies on a hard wood floor.
Crouched on a familiar stain Doku’d never quite managed to get out of the cabin planks, Kougaiji took a moment to just breathe. They were out. He couldn’t quite believe they were here, in the little hideaway stash Dokugakuji kept for paranoid emergencies, but they were out.
Oh my head….
“On the up side, proof that these are stabilizers, confirmed,” Kougaiji rasped out. “Publishing the findings is going to be hell…. Everyone alright?”
No answer. Though his ears caught a whimper, like Lirin was running from monsters in her sleep.
No, no, no, they have to be okay-!
Fingertips found pulses, as he checked the unconscious bodies sprawled around him. They were warm, they were steady….
:Step-shock. Pack will be well.:
It wasn’t a voice, exactly. More a knowing, sure and steady as his own hearts’ beat. These were :those-who-could-be-pack:. He wouldn’t harm them. He’d done everything he could not to harm them, taking the brunt of the winds-between on himself. Hence the headache.
“They’re human,” Kougaiji snarled. “They’re my friends, my sister-!”
A blaze of rage, giving him the strength to stand. :Not-pack almost scratched them!:
He… couldn’t argue with that. It terrified him, but it was true. Those monsters had been so close.
But I won’t. I won’t. Who knows if I’ll turn into that? It – it might just be a matter of time.
Kougaiji massaged his headache with his fingertips, oddly bemused how easy it was to pull the claws in and not scratch himself. “Stop. Think. Yaone got files. I’m Father’s heir; Koushu can’t work around that in a hurry. She had to think I’d come out of this… somewhat sane. And Nii wouldn’t just inject me without some kind of information on the outcome. His ego’s too big for that.” Press and rub, some of the pain fading with each push. “I need to read the files. I need to wake them up.”