The walls were a pasty yellow, tinged with the darkening stains of blood. There were no windows or open doors on Floor Nine, just flourecent lights that flickered every now and then. Gruff men and scarred women walked the halls in mixed matched, patched body armour with guns strapped to their thighs; they made no contact, no conversation. This was work, this was worry, there would be no time for niceties. They all passed a locked door. She was behind that door. Dead or alive- he didn't know. The Soldier brought in the girl with no knowledge of her information besides the precise circular invasion of one of the Democracy's many bullets. His gray kevlar was still wet with clumps of blood and flesh from Ara's wound. He leaned against the cracking wall. He had to go out and look for more survivors. Rey wasn't intelligent, but he knew what bullets and fire could do. He knew there would be no survivors. He wiped the dirt out of his black shaggy mane. Rey looked as if he had been sewn together from different pieces of humanity. In contrast to his black hair, his skin took on a gray and palour complexion while his eyes appeared exotic with their navy blue color. His peers dubbed him the " Doll of the Rebellion", his parents had called him an angel when he still had them. He hated being called an angel. He was a soldier, he killed people; he had bad days.
But she was behind that door.
Perhaps today had been a good day- for the girl. He had been expecting to find a body that was charred by black fire or ridded with bullet holes, but he found a girl who was barely still alive. He could have put her out of her misery, but no, he didn't. Rey picked her up and prayed against his will that he hadn't been too late. It was a revelation: to save someone. He eyed the door expectantly as he heard movement behind it. It opened and the doctor left the room without a word. Doctors never said anything, it wasn't a place to speak. They wanted to give the dying some peace after all. Rey also picked up that doctors never left doors open, but this door was left open for someone: him. The soldier rose from his spot on the wall and pushed open the door lightly to reveal the creature that lay in the coveted bed before him. The girl looked... different. Granted, she had been bathed, but there was something else. She looked peaceful, lovely even. Rey inhaled sharply. Was she... dead? He placed a rather large quivering hand on her tiny chest. No, she was still alive. There was movement to her and a small sound now and then from her mouth that his ears were barely able to read. But she was alive. Rey gave a shake of his head. The girl couldn't be human, she was too beautiful...too delicate to be human. Then he stopped, he too couldn't be human according to his looks, she was also his contemporary because the girl in the bed could not be less than thirteen; Rey was eighteen. He smirked, that was where the similarities ended. She probably had a heart that... cared for people. He shuddered at the thought then realized where he stood.
He stood in a hospital room where the girl lay, breathing because he had brought her in. Rey put his head in his hands, groaning," The hardening solution failed. My platoon's going to kill me!" He steadied himself on the edge of the bed, and closed his eyes, annoyed. It just didn't seem worth it now. Then Rey reeled back at the brush of fingertips across his hand. As a soldier, he had never been touched, so the sensation was all but lost to him. But the soldier boy didn't exactly shy away. Instead, he opened his eyes and looked down into the most inhuman eyes he had ever seen.
It took Rey only eight seconds to realize just how unearthly Ara's eyes really were. They were the colors of a fawn and the rich earth you would find under a riverbank or after a good forest rain. Amber gold sketched the edges of the girl's irises delicately with finesse. Her fingertips hadn't moved from his hand which made him think that she wasn't scared of him. He had expected her to be terrified of him, but no, she wasn't. Instead, she held his gaze solidly and unmoving. The young man opened his mouth to ask the routine questions, but all that came out was a quiet and shaky:
" Will you live?"
This question was asked several times by his buddies in the platoons and by civilians, but it was odd coming from his mouth. The voice that had just asked the question wasn't his voice, it sounded weak, dry- desperate even, but it came from his mouth all the same. She broke the stare by closing her eyes. It seemed as if she had fallen asleep, but she had an answer for him in the next moment.
"Yes." Was her answer. it was short and tired, but it was enough to allow Rey to exhale the expired air he had held in for a minute without realizing it. She must have seen the relief wash over his face because he felt her grip tighten. Rey met her eyes again.
"What is your name?" The young man asked, repositioning his hand in hers slightly to feel the full surface area of her tiny fingers.
" Ara. You're Ray. " She replied gravely. Rey raised an eyebrow," How do you know my name."
Ara gave a smile, lifting her hand from his to finger the brass rectangle on his chest," Nameplate." He sighed in understanding and smiled when she chuckled. But the moment was lost when she did not replace her hand in his palm. Now that he had felt contact, he craved it, he wanted more; just a fingertip. The chuckling ceased when Ara realized that the simple act caused fire in the wound, so she drew back into a sheltered state. The young man stood there in a silent panic as he saw that Ara was succombing to slumber. Rey watched dejectedly as her precious eyes drooped to a close. So, feeling as if he was needed elsewhere, the soldier boy lumbered quietly to the door. Then, he was stopped by Ara's drowsy, hoarse whisper.