Previous Chapter: http://www.sofurry.com/view/276120
Wooow. How long has it been? Several months? Kerg's been kicking my ass to write this. I've been in a slump, so really, thank the awesome dude for helping me get this out, and making sure the series doesn't die. Thanks for everyone who has been waiting this long, it's not that long of a chapter, but it's a good one. Things are going to change big time from here on out. Look forward to it folks!
...I flinched when I heard the painful thud Jason made when he hit the floor. There was no time to panic though; the sharp incline of the sub made him suddenly slide and begin roll down, back into the darker depths of the forgotten vehicle. I quickly reached down and grasped a clump of his fur and shirt, but the guy was dead weight, and I found myself being pulled down with him. Digging my feet in, I pulled hard and slowed down Jase, before his weight caused me to unbalance myself, and I slipped as well, falling head over heads and rolling painfully, only stopping as I hit the wall, with Jase's body landing unceremoniously on me just a second or two later. What just happened!?
I reached down for the flashlight that had fallen out of my hands as I rolled down the sharp incline, and pulled Jase to me, resting his head on my knees. "Jase? Wake up." I said, and gently shook him. I got no response, but a bit of incoherent muttering. So he was alive. Good. I took off my vest and folded it, placing under Jase's head to act as a pillow. What was wrong with him? Placing my hand on his forehead, I realized he was hot. Why was he getting fever again? A myriad of reasons began to flow into me, and after a while I realized that it had to do with the sub. Jase had never told why were in a sub...or how I got there...After Jase punched me he probably carried me for hours. My eyes began to water as desperation built up inside, and I remembered our fight not too long ago. My cheek still hurt where Jason had punched me, but...I...I needed Jason. We might not get along, but he was my partner. I wondered for a little bit if this was something like Stockholm syndrome, but let my mind rest these useless thoughts. I didn't want him to die...Leaning down, I kissed his lips, hoping to bring him back as if he was a sleeping beauty, but instead, I got a mouthful of thick, slimy saliva. I spat out and realized the Jason was in bad shape.
While disgusted, I felt the slime in my mouth remind me of a faint memory. I racked my mind once more. The last time Jason had been like this was back then...my mind began to recall the year that I spend apart from Jason, in my last year of middle school, and Jason's first year of high school. Middle school always let out 15 minutes before the high school. I remember it being such a hot day. Almost as hot as this damn desert. Jason and I had decided to meet up that day and...well things happened and I blamed Jase. I was such a child. How could he help himself on that sort of day? Jason didn't show up that day...
---Shaking my head, I brought my head out of the clouds and reached for Jase's bag and brought out the large canteen we now carried. I needed to cool him down. I hated using the water we had like this, but it was for the best. I reached for Jase's pack once more and pulled out one of his spare shirts. I couldn't help but spot his notepad, but I left that where it was because there were more pressing things at hand. Pulling the cap off the cantine, I poured what I considered an adequate amount of water on the shirt until it was thoroughly wet and I placed it on Jase's forehead. I kept the canteen open and every now and then, I would pour a little bit of water into Jason's mouth, who would subconsciously swallow it, as if gently being told what to do. Memories of nursing my friend returned to me, both nostalgic and bitter. I thought I had control of my feelings, but I was wrong. Now more than anything, I wanted to cry bitter tears of frustration for the life that I had wasted.
As I held Jason close to me, I looked about the room we had rolled into, flashlight in hand. It wasn't like the others ones that was for sure. By now everything was mostly rusted, and some corners were covered in flaky stuff that I believed to be old and dried barnacles, but this room was almost...nice. In a few parts I could see the remains of ruined cloth banners, colors faded where the cloth materials remained. I turned my light around the room and noticed that this room must have been sort of commander's room. What stories would this submarine tell? I had a strange feeling that there was some sort of history that this desert hid. What exactly had this world gone through? I pondered this for a little as I flipped that makeshift cooling rag on Jason's forehead once a side got too hot.
I realized that this wasn't helping Jason all that much. All this treatment was only buying me time and I needed to cool Jason in some sort of drastic manner. Unfortunately, I was in no sort of place to do so. The shade provided by this submarine was the best thing I had right now. The frustration in me was building, and as I subconsciously flipped over the quickly drying rag, my mind wandered back to that hot ass day.
Maybe I was still afraid to be abandoned like that. Afraid that I'd end up waiting for someone that wouldn't show up. Jason wasn't at fault though. The reason Jason didn't show up that day was because he had gotten heatstroke from exertion, as he always liked to work his ass off in P.E. I didn't know it at the time, but Jason had collapsed and been taken to a hospital, and he was given an I.V. to help him recover. While this happened, I waited in the park. I had bought Jason a Rocky Road ice cream cone, and bought myself a cherry Popsicle. As I waited for Jason, that ice cream cone became a reminder of the time I had been waiting. My popsicle was long gone by the time the ice cream melted and ate the cone up, the ice cream melting into a sweet, sticky slime that poured over on to my hand. I think I cried...I remember thinking, "Did he forget?" My internal fears of the greatest friend I had ever had forgetting me manifested like thorns around my heart. Jason tried explaining it to me the next day when he felt a bit better over the phone, but I wasn't hearing it. Even now I felt petty and cheap for begrudging him like that. It had always been me. I was a coward...and now...here I was, back in that day, worried that Jason would leave me like back then. I would have laughed if the situation wasn't so bad.
I flipped over the damp shirt and sighed. Jason had begun panting hard, and was getting worse with time. I groaned angrily, and pulled my own pack, pulling the zipper to open it. This rag wasn't working! As I began to search through my bag, I began to think of something...drastic. I began fumbling through my pack of equipment looking for something specifically. Jason's heat stroke could kill him if I didn't cool him up soon. The most obvious sign of his heat stroke was his saliva turning slime-like. His panting was another sign of how he was getting worse. If Jason started vomiting or convulsing, I would lose him. At that point, there would be nothing I would be able to do to save him. I felt the cool metal in my bag and pulled it out. It was my knife. Placing it next to me, I blushed as I began this desperate idea. I pulled Jason closer to me and slid my hands under his shirt, removing it and placing it next to the moist one I had pulled out earlier. The shirt was hot, and Jason's body was radiating heat. I continued stripping him, and left in his underwear. What I was planning to do was to cut off as much of Jason's coat as I could. Only then would Jason's body cool down. Jason's pride and joy was going to kill him here. As I raised my knife and stared at it, I felt the awfulness of the act I was about to do...
...I prayed that Jason would forgive me for butchering his beautiful, white coat. I remembered thinking of a girl that once betrayed a man she loved by cutting his hair. Perhaps only Delilah knew the feelings I felt at that moment.
Grabbing a large clump of his fur, I sighed and swiped my knife in a clean motion, and watched as the fur lost its poofy form in my hands, becoming a mess. Steadily, I went about Jason's body, grabbing clumps, and cutting them off. I started with his chest, straddling him, and grabbing the large tuft that seemed to sprout out of the center of his torso and cut it. I decided that I would try to keep it as even as possible, and I went about cropping his fur down. My left hand grasped at fur and my right felled it. Everything above a certain level was cut down my knife, like the sickle harvesting the wheat. The more I cut however, the more I kept noticing the muscle that Jason had developed. I guess I had always pictured him as being sorta fat. I knew there was some musculature to him, but it was a bit surprising to see how much more buff he actually was. I couldn't help but admire how hard Jason must have worked to attain the body he had. Already, he was starting to feel cooler. I let him drink more water and then continued with my task, shaving down the thick fur on his abdomen, which only revealed the shadow of a six-pack. I wondered if it was from the conditions of the desert or if Jason was just that buff. After finishing with his chest, I was surrounded by a mess of white fur. I could only imagine what Jason's reaction would be when he woke up. I remembered the punch he gave me not so long ago and he rubbed it once, still very tender to the touch. I kept cutting and cutting, until Jason was no longer the poofy guy I knew, but a normal guy, with some definite muscle mass. His butchered coat was obvious, as I didn't have the tools to give him a proper haircut, but now he'd have an easier time in the desert.
I kept working and to my relief, Jason began to cool down. Time had lost its meaning here in the dim bowels of the forgotten sub. I began to smooth down the fur on Jason as best I could, so that it wouldn't look as bad as it really was. Staring at the disheveled state that his coat was in made my insides turn. After this, I could no longer find any hate for Jason in myself. For what he had done to me, we were even...in a sense. I'd done this to Jason to save him, but I knew he'd see it as another act of cruelty to him. I wanted to cry. Would he even listen to me? Jason was always so kind...and I'd been such a jerk to him this entire time. Why couldn't I give up the past? I leaned down and stared at Jason's face, gently planting a kiss staring the lines from some of the more recent cuts on his face. I made an internal promise to myself to place more trust in Jason from now on. I knew he could be very stubborn at times, but he did it out of concern for me. He was my friend here, and if Jason hadn't proven that in the plant, and by sharing his warmth for me every night we slept together, then I might as well gauge my eyes out, because I was being blind. After cleaning the mess of fur up as best as I could, I laid as close to Jason as I could without touching him. Right now he needed to cool down. I suddenly remembered how prone to the cold I was and shivered, missing Jase's touch right then. I closed my eyes and thought of our experiences here in the desert, trying to look at them from Jase's point of view.
...His first meeting of the beloved person he had so badly scorned, the reminder his mistake, and the chance to atone. To redeem himself. In memory, I remembered that passionate kiss that I almost lost myself to, before I had come to my senses.
...What disappointment must he have felt when I returned his scorn? ...When I'd struggled in his arms hoping to get away from him. Even after I drew my claws on him time and time again, he held on to me, in hope of another chance. To right the wrongs he had done.
...The thirst Jason must have felt as he surrendered what little liquid he'd gathered from searching a corpse. Even after he'd gotten better, I still threw the sacrifice back into his face.
...His satisfaction of being able to hold me in his arms at last, protecting me from the cold at night. Even the reminder of his body against mine made my body tingle with the memory of his warmth, his scent, the sound of his peaceful breathing in my ears.
...The fear and dread he felt when we'd gotten separated in the factory. His entire time more concerned for me than for his own safety.
...How frustrated could he have been with me after I trusted Wandered over him? When I trusted a total stranger and basically spat on the years of friendship we'd had before and our experiences here in the desert.
I couldn't handle it anymore. I cried again. I wanted to sob loudly, and shake Jase awake and beg for his forgiveness, but I knew he needed the rest, so my cries remained silent and unheard. The pile of fur in the corner of the room remained like a haunting reminder of what I'd done. ...Jason would never forgive me. No, I'd failed him too often, and hurt him and I'd broken him. I'd given him everything I had and I'd broken him. Maybe that's why destiny made him utter those words when he did. Maybe he would have been spared all the heartache he had felt in this desert.
I sat up and held Jason's hand, waiting for him to wake up, so that I could apologize. I hoped he would forgive me.