Warning: This work has been rated 18+ for language.
General Content Rating: 18+
Story Content Warnings: Heavy Swearing, Blood and Gore, Death, Racism, Sexism, Ableism, Homophobia, Transphobia, Exorsexism, Child Abuse, Underage Shenanigans (Drinking, Smoking, etc.), Suicide
Current Chapter Content Warnings: Heavy Swearing
Viewer Discretion is Advised
“Still having difficulties, little one?”
Aden had been hovering his hands over the small, wilting potato plants for more than a few minutes now, but the crops did not spring to life.
He and Blanco were in the corner of a large field to the North of the ocean, and the camp. He was trying to assist the local farmers by reviving some of their dying crops, as Dr. Elfrida told him to do. Blanco meanwhile was preoccupied chatting with a lovely cow affectionately named 'buttercup' as Aden had learned by ease-dropping.
Aden had never really tried to use his powers on purpose; most of his use of his ‘gift of nature’ as the other elves called it had been instinctual.
The fact that he wasn’t of any help to the farmers was dampening his mood. He lowered his hands and sighed dejectedly. “Yes…Sorry.” He responded to a young Elf woman next to him.
All of a sudden, the potato plants worsened in health; their leaves crisped and dyed a deadly orange-yellow. The farmers who had been watching him panicked severely. “By the six! He’s made it worse!” An old Nord exclaimed.
Aden panicked; he tried thinking of all the healthy, green plants he could imagine! Peppers! Beans! Pumpkins! Brussel sprouts!
But somehow it was getting worse, and the shouting of the farmers echoed and rung around his head.
“You little pest! Alva told us you could fix this mess! Not make it worse!”
“Now we’ll starve in one month instead of two!”
“Do something! Fix this mess!”
Aden backed away from the angry farmers that were gathering around and cornering him; he clung onto the wooden fence behind him. “P-please! I-I tried! I really tried!” His anxiety was rising to greater heights. He felt like he was going to collapse into tears at any moment. “I-I’ll try again! I’ll do better-”
Right behind Aden was a bottle of rum. It was half full, and smelled eerily familiar; it smelled like…Ron Medellin rum?
As he backed further into the fence, the back of his head knocked over the bottle. It crashed onto the ground and broke into pieces.
The noise resounded in his head, repeating over and over! The echo tore apart his eardrums!
His vision blurred into a distorted, swirly mess! He felt like he was going to throw up!
He wanted to scream! He wanted to cry! He couldn’t move his body!
The only thing he could feel was pain! Pain! Pain!
He wanted the pain to stop!
He wanted the pain to stop!
Aden’s vision cleared, and he recognized the familiar, dark eyes that could only belong to…Brian? How did they get here?
“B-Bwain? W-wah h-haffen?” Aden tried to ask his question, but his words turned to mush. He was hyperventilating; tears brimmed his eyes and dripped down his cheeks as Blanco nuzzled his legs and purred comfortingly on his knee. The woolly cows and spotted sheep nearby mooed and baaed in worry.
Brian only silenced him. “Shut up. Breathe. In through the nose, and out through the mouth.”
Aden did as Brian said. He inhaled a chunk full of air, and let out some of the tension that had built up in his body. Soon enough, he felt like his normal self again.
“You’re ok.” Brian reassured. “I heard your screams and cries miles away and rushed to you as fast as I could.”
Aden had never seen Brian like this; his eyes were so much more relaxed and empathetic than usual.
…Wait, did Aden make Brian cry again? His face was damp with tears.
Aden and Brian looked behind the fence to see Captain Gonzalo and Prince Elric racing towards them with puffy eyes. By the time they caught up; Prince Elric was nearly ready to collapse. “B-by the six goddesses! What on earth happened?! What made the aura stop?!”
“Aden does this thing where if he’s freaking out, he unleashes some kind of weird aura that makes everyone feel his feelings.” Brian raised himself up from the ground; pulling Aden up with him. Aden wasn’t even aware he had been sitting on the ground. “I’ve only seen him do it once, but I didn’t think the radius was that big.”
“Maybe it depends on how intense the emotions are?” Captain Gonzalo suggested.
“Could be. I don’t know man.” Brian’s fists shook, and he turned to the gathered, collapsed crowd of farmers; He gave them an intense, fiery glare of hatred. “But I do know that someone caused this bullshit! Who did it?! Who hurt him?!”
“W-we didn’t do anything!” One of the young elf men answered. “That pipsqueak knocked over a rum bottle and went into hysteria when it shattered!”
“How did he even get close enough to it in the first place?! How irresponsible are you-”
“We did back him against the fence, but we were angry at him and had every right to be! He damaged our crops-”
Brian grabbed the young elf man’s shirt and pulled them close to his face. “That’s not a fucking excuse! What the fuck is wrong with all of you guys?! Do you elves not have any common sense?! Is that a thing you guys lack?!”
“C-Captain Gonzalo?” Prince Elric tapped his mentor’s shoulder to gain their attention. “Don’t you think we should stop Brian? I don’t think this will help clear the four human’s names-”
“No.” Captain Gonzalo muttered. He crossed his arms and watched the scene with cold interest. “Brian has every right to be angry. Let him scare them.” A small smirk formed on his lips. “I want to see what he does.”
“Okay! You know what?! Let me spell this out for you dumbasses!” Brian resolved. He shoved the young elf man to the ground and stomped back to Aden, who had been watching Brian’s rampage in awe.
Aden squeaked in surprise when Brian lifted him up bridal style; almost showing him off to the crowd. “This pipsqueak right here? This little idiot in my arms? He’s mine! He’s one of my friends; one of my homies! You guys mess with him? You mess with me!”
Brian gripped tight a part of the fence. He pulled with all his might, and half of the fence enclosure was torn from the ground. The farmers panicked and screamed, covering their eyes and ears.
“And you don’t want to mess with me nigga!” He warned; lifting half of the fence enclosure with one arm alone.
With that final statement, Brian was done. He dropped the fence enclosure, and it fell back to imbed itself in its usual spot. The crowd of farmers shook in fear, and watched in anticipation as Brian jumped over the fence, and stomped away from the field.
Aden however, noticing the shattered rum bottle on the ground, frantically escaped from Brian’s grasp and rushed towards it.
“Aden?” Brian followed the red-head, wondering what on earth he was doing. Why the hell is he going back? “Aden, what are you…?”
Aden hurriedly picked up the shards, and stuffed them in the pockets of his rain poncho. His eyes were almost dazed, He performed the action like it was routine.
“Have to pick up shards.” He explained, gazing up at Brian anxiously. “It’s bad to leave on floor. Always pick them up.”
Brian frowned, but didn’t question Aden any further. “…Ok. Whatever makes you feel better, just…let’s get out of here.” He offered his hand to Aden, who eagerly took it. The two disappeared into the nearby woods.
With the sources of stress out of the farmers’ view, they thought they were free from any more turmoil for the day.
As Captain Gonzalo marched and stood in front of them, however, they realized they were very, very wrong.
“As punishment for causing a disturbance throughout half of the camp, and for the needless harassment of a young boy, your pays will be diminished and your work load will be doubled for a few weeks.” Was all the captain said, before he walked and away and disappeared too into the forest with Prince Elric.
The birds chirped and flew with the windy breeze; they clutched onto the twigs attached to the pine trees that surrounded Brian and Aden.
There had been nothing but silence ever since the two of them had left the field, and Aden was getting more and more anxious from it.
“…Where are we going?” Aden finally questioned.
Brian glanced down at the small boy, who clung onto Brian’s hand tight; it was almost a death grip. “To where the woodcutters are, where I originally was.” Brian answered. He gazed ahead, his mind wandering to what happened minutes before.
“Nice going Brian! That’s another tree for the pile!” Prince Elric cheered
Brian had thought he was going to break a sweat with pulling all these trees from their roots, and carrying them to a designated pile the woodcutters would tend to later.
He did, although not in the ‘this is back breaking work’ kind of sweat, but more the ‘This is like carrying your parent’s groceries across the parking lot’ kind of sweat.
Prince Elric had been rooting for him all this time. Although the prince was handy with a sword, he wasn’t that strong. He was there because Captain Gonzalo was there, and Captain Gonzalo couldn’t exactly leave the king-to-be by himself.
Suddenly, the world flushed red. A familiar red that Brian had seen only once before.
As the woodcutters, Captain Gonzalo, Prince Elric, and Brian himself collapsed onto the ground; Brian heard frantic screaming in the distance.
Something about Aden’s terror in the pit of his stomach, and the scream. Something about it set Brian off, and before he knew it himself, he was dashing through the forest in search of the screaming boy.`
Brian was brought back into reality. He jumped at Aden’s sudden sincerity.
Aden looked up at him with a warm, soft smile. “For protecting me.”
“…It’s fine.” Brian scratched the back of his head. “Listen, keep this between you and me…The three of us been through a lot, and you’ve all earned my trust.” a faint blush spread on his cheeks, and he turned his head away from Aden. “So y’know, when the going gets tough, I’ll be there for you guys.”
“Blushing!” Aden jumped excitedly; eyeing Brian’s cheeks like they were the most fascinating things he had ever seen. “You blushing!”
“W-what?” Brian coughed out, and covered his cheeks with his arm; he was more than embarrassed. “No I’m not!”
“Yes! Yes you are! Cute! Very cute!”
“I am not cute!”
Brian and Aden were almost at their destination. He could hear the sound of wood being chopped up and carried across the dirt ground.
And then an ear-piercing shriek filled Brian’s ears. Following that shriek was a sudden gust of wind.
Brian gasped for breath; his ears were still ringing and stinging in the aftermath. “W-what? Again? Who is it this time?”
He turned to Aden, expecting him only to be miffed by the wind at most. Brian was used to hearing things other people couldn’t.
Aden was covering his ears too, however. He glanced up at Brian, and gasped is horror. “B-Brian! Ears! Your ears!”
Brian felt both of his ears with his finger. They felt…kind of wet?
When he lowered his hands; he found blood flowing down his fingertips.