"Please," Zero whimpered in his sleep. If one hadn't been listening closely it would have been missed. But some noise had awoken Hiead, and he was listening carefully in the darkness. "Please no," the usually cocky candidate pleaded in a frightened voice. Hiead glared through the blackness of the room. He needed his sleep, not to listen to the nightmares of fools. He was about to wake up the noisy boy when Zero screamed. Such a noise Hiead had never heard. The hair on is neck rose at the sound of agony ripped from the other candidate's throat. He was frozen in his bed, listening to the scream go on and on. Finally, it died off into a pathetic little whimper followed by sharp sobs.
Hiead sat in his bed, wondering what to make of the situation. He wasn't overly fond of his roommate, but the other boy sounded terrified. He had never been good with human contact, especially comfort, but he couldn't really let the cries continue, they'd keep him up all night. Slipping silently from his bed he crossed the room to where Zero was huddled miserably beneath his blankets. Hesitantly he reached out to touch the crying boy's shoulder.
Zero gasped and froze.
"Zero, what is wrong with you?"
The normally outspoken candidate was completely silent and Hiead wasn't even sure if he was still breathing he was so still. It was odd that the vivacious boy was so subdued and quiet. Something was definitely wrong.
"Zero, if you do not tell me what is wrong then I shall be forced to report this incident to Instructor Azuma."
The response was immediate. "No!" Zero cried reaching out and grasping Hiead's hand.
Hiead tried to make out the other boy's face through the darkness of the room to no avail. He couldn't see the boy, but he could feel his hand trembling on his own. That was highly unusual.
"Please no," Zero said in a quieter tone.
"Why not?" He heard Zero's breathe hitch but he didn't answer the question. Hiead waited impatiently. "Well? Answer quickly."
"I-I can't tell you," came the whispered response.
"Why not?" Hiead asked once more.
"I can't tell. Can't ever tell." Zero said softly, and Hiead could hear the tears in his voice. This confused him. Zero was crying.
"Why are you crying? You don't want me to show that you are a bad pilot candidate? You don't want them to know that you cry out in the night?" Hiead demanded.
"No. No, that is not it."
"Then what is it?" Hiead asked impatiently.
Despite the darkness, Hiead felt Zero's eyes on him. It was as if the other boy was looking into his soul. He blinked as he heard the other boy speak. "Hopefully, you will never know," Zero said solemnly. Hiead stood, with his hand still held in Zero's, staring at the darkness that he knew to be the other boy's face. "Go back to bed," Zero said softly. "This never happened."
Strangely, Hiead did not argue. He turned to walk back to his own bed. Zero's hand slipped off of his, almost reluctantly. Disturbed, he climbed back into his bed and settled down to continue his interrupted rest. He listened to the silence that once more fell over the room. And in it he heard a whisper.
"You will never know. None of you will ever know, I swear it."
It was then that Hiead made his vow to find out.
Next --> Suspicion