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"I promise, if I needs help again, I'll let ya's know." Eric's eyes didn't waver from Kazuya's face. He breathed in, out, and then nodded solemnly. "Okay." It...made sense, what they were saying. They sounded tired and...vulnerable. He wasn't used to people being vulnerable around him- not on purpose. Not like...not like they trusted him. He felt something inside his chest tremble. "........so I don't fucking understand the detective at all." 'Detective'. Yet another word Eric had to look up. It took him several long seconds of reading and some unhelpful hints from SPARK before he realised Kazuya was talking about Manny. "You'se met him before coming here too, right? What was he like when you'se met him, Eric?" Eric's mind went back to that night filled with fire. He spoke slowly, trying to shape each word so it was exactly right. "I was going to die. He saved me." The word 'saved' came out almost like something unearthly and holy. Eric's face, even reliving the night, was a picture of disbelief. "He didn't want anything. He...helped me. Talked to me. H...He was kind." His voice shook a little with the final word, and his eyes shimmered.
"Ah, hahaha, yeah I'm fine, Blue." Kazuya's hand came down towards him. At any other time the sudden approach would have sent Eric flinching, but there was something familiar about the gesture- And then they were petting and ruffling his hair. Eric leaned into the hand, and let out a long exhalation. His body relaxed again at the contact. A purr ran through him almost like a shudder. He liked being pet. He liked being called Blue. In this moment, he felt so happy it hurt. After a moment, Kazuya withdrew. The others were excusing themselves and moving away, leaving the two of them more or less by themselves. "So don't worry about me, Eric. I'm good." He looked up at Kazuya's face. Some things he'd become so used to looking for they'd become second nature - fear, anger, hatred, aggression, hidden intent. Kazuya's face didn't seem to hold any of these. But he felt like it wasn't quite sincere either. It was... confusing. And confusing things often led to bad things in his experience. His brow was furrowed in something between caution and concern. Kazuya...Kazuya had already had multiple chances to hurt him, or to try and manipulate him. Maybe they were doing it in a way he hadn't noticed yet, but... maybe he just didn't plan to right now. And Eric...wanted Kazuya to be safe. Eric wanted to help. Once again, when he spoke there wasn't a hint of doubt or sarcasm in his voice. Just sincere concern and inquiry. His eyes met Kazuya's unwaveringly. "Is that true?"
'Hammocks'...? Oh, SPARK clarified that as the hanging cloths. Eric could see how that would work. They looked...cool. He kind of wanted to try one. He smiled shyly at Static. The sleep he'd had, while short, had been strangely quiet and safe-feeling. He didn't know if it was Static's presence specifically or just being able to rest with another being close by and feel safe about it, but it was...nice. Really nice. Kazuya seemed... tired? Worried? When they came out of the bathroom, though they quickly wiped the expression away. Eric swallowed. He always seemed to say the wrong thing when others were stressed. "Are you alright?"
Eric, upon being handed Static, had immediately curled up around them and fell back asleep. He felt calm and safe and warm for the first time in so, so long... His purrs and Static's harmonized as they both dozed. Slowly, he became aware of gentle movements. Static was awake. He loosened his arms, letting Static move more freely. "Are you okay?" he asked softly.
Above: a beautiful picture of myself and my ferrec ally Sept by the talented keii4ii.