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Instability Excerpt

So, for those of you who remember my angsty Abyss AU plotbunny named Instability, I've started working on it again. It's hard because trying to rewrite canon events involves finding the motives and actions and figuring out when they got which information... it requires a lot of canon knowledge, and while I'm not too bad I'm sketchy on some of the canon details in the middle of the game, and I can't canon review because my PS2 is at home, and even on the 14th I'll still need to actually get a 3DS... So it's been slow going, though I am still making progress. I've been toying around a lot of ideas, including Asch reluctantly taking Luke's place in the main party (mainly because Luke hasn't been learning how to control his hyperresonance like he does in canon) while Luke breaks off, probably with Guy in tow. Though this involves Luke eventually trusting Guy again so it'd take a while to eventually happen.

I have figured out some new details though, and got some inspiration for a later excerpt, mainly around Tower of Rem and its aftermath.


First of all, in Instability, Luke does not cut his hair until after Absorption Gate, mainly because he keeps to himself rather than seeking Tear out after waking up, doesn't deliver the "I have to change" speech and... doesn't cut his hair. But after Absorption Gate, Guy takes one look at Luke who's still kind of in an emotionally fragile state, and another look at Fabre manor, and goes "NOPE.jpg" and drags Luke to Grand Chokmah. After that point, Luke spends a rather chill month with Guy, though he suffers a lot from "just a replica" feelings still. So Guy suggests that Luke do something to help forge his identity. And one of the ideas that comes up that they go with is - ta da! - cutting Luke's hair.

I'm spoiling you all because there's a relatively low chance I'm ever going to fully write this out.

ANYWAY. Guy and Tear switch places for Tower of Rem, as in Tear's the one who keeps Guy from interfering (mainly because Guy and women), and afterwards, it's Guy who figures out pretty quickly that Luke's dying.

And this new excerpt is a chronicle of that.

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They couldn't make it all the way back to Grand Chokmah in one day, and they'd still needed to tell Ingobert and the Kimlascans what had happened. So they'd ended up stopping for the night at Baticul.

It'd taken some convincing, to get Luke to spend the night at Fabre manor rather than at the inn or even the palace. Guy himself had mixed feelings on the matter. But finally Natalia's pleading, plus the promise of being able to see his mother, won out, on one condition: that Guy be allowed to come with him. That, in turn, caused a debate with Duke Fabre, one that he eventually lost.

And so, Guy found himself sitting on his bed, in the room that'd been his for some ten-odd years. Luke, meanwhile, had gone to see the Lady Susanne before heading to his old room to rest.

It was somewhat ironic, being back here again. His feelings towards the Fabre household were still a tight, festering ball of rage and anger in his chest. He wasn't sure he'd ever be able to completely reconcile over what had happened. Not to mention the new rage and frustration over how Luke had been treated, the few times he'd been to Baticul since starting out on his journey. They'd tried to kill him, for Lorelei's sake! Just for being a replica, and just to fulfill the thrice-damned Score.

At the same time though, he'd come to acknowledge that revenge was out of the question. He couldn't throw his life away, squander the chance that Mary had given him.

And he couldn't leave Luke behind.

Still, it wasn't exactly restful, being back in the house of those he'd sworn revenge upon, no matter how necessary. But it was just for one night, and Luke needed the sleep more than any of them, after what'd happened. One night, then he and the redhead could go back home to Grand Chokmah and get a proper rest, and figure out what to do next.

Sighing and stretching, Guy stood up. He should probably go check on Luke, see how he was holding up. As happy as he probably was to see his mother again, it had to be awkward for him too, being here.

His feet knew the walk to Luke's room so well, he probably could have done it blindfolded. It even took him to the window behind Luke's room where he used to sneak in. It didn't bother him; while he was no longer a servant at Fabre manor, he still doubted the Duke would be pleased to see him visiting Luke, and while he personally didn't give a damn what the man thought, Luke didn't deserve any resulting ire the Duke might throw his way.

The window was closed, so Guy rapped on it lightly. "Luke? It's me."

No response.

He tried again. "Luke?"

When his call was met with more silence, he lifted a hand to shade his eyes as he peered through the window into the room itself. It was dark - the only light coming from the windows themselves. But even in the semidarkness, he could still see the white of his jacket hanging off a chair, and a tuft of red from his bed. If Luke'd been lying down, Guy would have figured he was asleep, and left it alone. But Luke was upright, curled up.

Something about Luke's posture made Guy uneasy. Looks like he might have to use the door after all.

Walking around to the front, he knocked on the door, a little more loudly.

"Go away!" the sound of Luke's voice clinched it - something wasn't right.

"Luke, it's me," Guy called back, "I came by to check up on you, that's all."

As much as he wanted to shove his way in and make Luke tell him what was wrong, that would only push Luke to hide things even more, as much as Guy hated to admit it. If he could just get Luke comfortable enough to tell him….

"I-I'm fine, Guy, really," came the muffled reply, finally.

Guy sighed exasperatedly, running a hand through his hair. "You don't really think I'm gonna buy that, do you?" Especially after that display a little while ago...

There was a long silence, before… "Fine…"

Taking that as permission, Guy pushed open the door.

Luke's face was mostly hidden by the pillow he was clutching, though Guy was pretty sure he saw one green eye peer up at him briefly before he ducked his head.

Letting out a soft sigh, Guy shut the door behind him, pulled up the chair with Luke's jacket on it up next to his bed and sat down, so his elbow was able to rest on the back of it.

"Want to tell me what happened?" his voice was quiet, his eyes sharp on where red hair met white fabric. Luke had been fine all today, a little shaky coming back from the doctor's, but happy, upbeat. Now he was shaking and erratic, as like to lash out as not. It was a harsh throwback to how he'd been a few months ago. Something had to have caused it, but what?

"Nothing," Luke muttered.

"Luke…"

"Look Guy, I'm fine-!" Luke snapped, jerking his head up, and in that moment, Guy stiffened ever so slightly, and Luke froze upon catching sight of his best friend's reaction. Guy, for his part, stared. Luke's eyes were red-rimmed, and there were blatant tear tracks down the side of his face.

"Luke…" As much as he wanted to go for the verbal shakedown, was fighting back the words, he couldn't do that. Yelling - especially now - made Luke yell back. It was better to be straightforward, "Luke, what's wrong?" There was no reason to hide it... he could tell.

Luke stared at Guy for one long moment, then next thing Guy knew, there was a blaze of red right below his nose and Luke's face was buried in his shoulder, and there were choked sobs. Only years of practice kept Guy's alarm under control as he lifted a hand and stroked the short red hair, the other rubbing his back soothingly.

Finally, Luke's voice croaked out "I d-don't wanna die-!"

The hand in Luke's hair tightened convulsively. Please let Luke not mean what he thought he meant. He'd said he was fine, his blood fonons were just low, that was all. It couldn't mean what Luke was implying. Luke was going to be fine, he had to be…

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ftr, this is still in the process of being written and I will be adding to it.

This entry was originally posted here.

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