A figure looked at the clear sea around them. They smiled for a second, reminded of what their life had been with someone else, so long ago. Wel huffed, disappointed at themselves. They didn't know where the thoughts came from, but they had to stop.
Ten years was a long time for anyone to wait, and the blond figured Fern would have moved on in some fashion. Her brilliant grin haunted their dreams even now.
“Wel!” They turned at the yell, and saw a soldier barreling forward. Wel peered at her helmet to catch a glimpse of her green hair.
“Phine?” They asked once she panted a few feet away. “What’s the matter?” Their voice pittered out at the glimpse of her once blue uniform stained with another color. It looked brown, but the fresh parts were - red.
“Is that blood?” Wel stretched a hand out to the soldier. “Are you hurt?”
She waved them off, still wheezing. What made someone that desperate to send the one with breathing issues to their position?
Wel paused for a few seconds, before they stared at Phine, waiting for her to start talking.
“It’s not mine.” They figured. “It’s Lily.”
Their Lily? Wel could have cried. Oh, it couldn’t be. They trembled. Not their adorable girl that was their final reminder of Fern. The blond gripped their own wrist in a tight embrace to ground themselves.
“Wel! Snap out of it!” They faced the soldier, the other’s voice almost a hum compared to his frantic thoughts. The blond did not what they could do in this situation, besides sit by their daughter and watch her die.
They blinked blank eyes at Phine. She sighed before grabbing their shoulders. “Think for a second and breathe.”
Wel calmed his frantic thoughts. They needed to be calm, anyway, as they couldn’t be freaking out in front of Lily - whose condition was unknown for now. But they could at least change that.
“What happened to Lily?” They grabbed Phine’s hands. “Do you know where she is?”
The green-haired soldier shook her head. “I’ll tell you on the way, as I feel that you’d like to be there as quickly as you can, hm?” She let go off them to start walking in the direction she came from.
Wel managed a slight grin. That woman sure had a way of changing someone’s mood. They followed after her, towards a few gray buildings not too far away from the beach.
They repeated their questions to Phine and her down-turned mouth.
“The new squad of trainees were out practicing, but then,” her grimace grew, “your girlie wandered into their area.”
The blond paused in their steps. She might have been shot. Shot! All because they wanted some alone time and trusted Lily to stay safe.
“Where is she now?” Wel huffed out a few seconds later, ruing the fact that they hadn’t been too active in past days.
Phrine gave a half-smile before pointing at a two-story building. A simple heart marked it as the single caring place on the island.
The latest battle demolished the last hospital, but the locals had been at work for the past three months to get a new center up and running.
Of course, it was their daughter that would send the place into a riot.
Wel didn’t feel ready to see what state Lily was in, but they were going to either way.
The blond threw open the door.
“Lily?” They called out her name.
About a dozen people all popped their heads up to look at Wel. Their daughter laid in between the group, her purple dress now stained brown. They shut their eyes for a second to brace themselves, but still approached the girl.
She needed someone with her, and they were the only one left.
“H-how is she?” Wel whispered. Brown eyes met their own lighter ones.
“Hello, sir.” A dark-haired woman raised her head. Hudson, if they remembered from when the hospital first opened.
“Lily was hit by shards of wood, but we-” she nodded to the fellow workers around her, “were able to take them out and wrap her wounds.”
Wel blinked and exhaled with the words. Lily managed to not get shot by actual bullets, which was a weak sort of relief, but one that they clutched onto. The blond rolled their shoulders and smiled at Doctor Hudson.
She smiled for a second, then masked her expression. “Your daughter’s been out for a few minutes, but she sure is a fighter.”
“Thank you.” Wel grabbed Lily’s hand. They curbed the urge to cry for the time being. No point in tears until they could show their little girl how much she meant to them.
“Of course.” Doctor Hudson tapped their forearm then rose to her feet. Her fellow workers gave Wel a nod in respect before also leaving the pair for now.
“Sir,” a deep voice reached their ears.
Wel looked up to see a youth with red blotchy skin. The male also wore a navy-colored uniform. They frowned. Apologies were unnecessary since Lily ended up not being too hurt either. A short look at the bloodstains made it look worse, but Wel tried to breathe easier knowing that she would be okay.
“Hi.” Wel nodded and reached out a hand. The kid froze glancing between parent and daughter before shaking the limb. “What can I help you with, kid?” They said a few silent moments later.
The soldier flushed even more and ran shaking fingers through dark, cropped hair. “I, um, want to apologize, mister.” He sighed. “I was a part o’ the group that was on patrol when your girl - uh your daughter wandered in, an’ -” the youth rushed his words then, “none of us meant to hurt ‘er!”
Wel shook their head. “You never did anything wrong.” They smiled with a look at the still asleep Lily. “It was kinda her fault, y’know.” She could have been shot or bled out, much more than the amount staining her clothes. The blond shuddered from their thoughts.
“But, I-” the kid waved his hands.
“Stop, stop.” Wel paused. “What’s even your name, hm?”
The brunet coughed into his arm. “My name’s Charem.”
A name, finally. They were getting tired of labeling him as a soldier kid.
“Well, Charem,” Wel looped an arm around the other’s shoulders. “I think we’re gonna be just fine, don’t cha think, too?”
They held in a laugh at seeing how the male paled to a much lighter shade. The kid reacted strongly to any kind of situation, which was nice for observers. Not so much for the poor soul that couldn’t hide their emotions.
“Ease up, now kid, a’right?” Wel mixed his voice. Charem chortled and shook his head. “What, ya don’t like me accent, huh?”
“Nope.” The dark-haired youth bit his lip. “Tha’s not how we sound, sir.”
“Mmhm. Ya never know, maybe ye’ll find ‘nother person who drops all their ‘y’s.” They waggled their light eyebrows.
Charem laughed again. “Ya sure are somethin’ else, mister.”
“Yeah, sweet.” Wel chuckled. “I’ve always wanted to be one with the kids.”
“You’re sure on your way of doin’ that.” The soldier crouched, sitting right by the girl lying asleep. “She sure is somethin’ else, too.”
Wel nodded absently and caught Charem’s gaze on Lily. “She’s been through so much, but she’s a fine fighter.”
“That she is,” the dark-haired youth said. He placed a palm on Wel’s shoulder for a second, then stood up. “If there’s anythin’ I can do for Lily, please give me a holler.”
“Thank you.” Wel nodded. They would rather not keep reminders of their daughter’s near death, but favors were not meant to be scoffed at. The blond took a moment to breathe in air that smelled of soap and something they wished wasn’t blood before smiling slightly.
All they had to do now was wait for Lily to wake up. That was a simple enough task.