Title: Lost Soul
Author: Jos Mous
PAIRING: Nicole/Sam; Brooke/Lily
DISCLAIMER: None of these characters belong to me. And that's a good thing too, because if I _did_ own them I'd probably do very strange things with them. The characters borrowed from 'Septerra Core' naturally don't belong to me as well.
NOTE: This is going to be the very last part with Septerra Core characters in it. I can almost guarantee it.
It was dark in Lily's room. The curtains were drawn tightly shut and the only light came from a few candles. Lily herself sat on the floor. Even in this relative darkness she wore her sunglasses. To any outsider it would seem as if Lily was another teenager who thought she could do magic by chanting a few words. That outsider would be partially correct. Lily didn't think she could do magic, she _knew_ that she could magic. But magic wasn't exactly what she was doing right now.
She was having a conversation.
Right now she wasn't sitting on the floor of her room, that was just her body. She was standing on front of several figures. A young man in a gold and blue armour, an angel with a beautiful spiralling tattoo all over her body, a strange figure who managed to look very cunning and dangerous in his red court jester suit, a woman with blue skin and red hair and a skeleton dressed in a tattered grey robe. Just a few of the Seraphim who kept the world going.
"Why have you come to us?" Marduk, the man in blue armour asked.
"I need help. I have to find a way to get Brooke out of her coma."
"Is that it?" Dogo, the daemon in the court jester suit said laughing.
"You come to us because of one girl? I have to admit, you've got guts."
"Every life is valuable Dogo, you should have learned that lesson by now." Kyra the angel reprimanded him.
"Yeah, OK, fine, but still, entering our realm just to save some human… It just sounds crazy to me."
"I see these are matters for the living," Thanatos said. "I have more important business to attend to." And with that the skeleton left.
"Boney is right. We can't be bothered by this." Dogo said.
"Now wait a minute!" Lily yelled. "I single-handedly saved the world for you people, you can't just up and leave!"
"Watch me." Dogo said as he disappeared.
"Never mind him." Marduk said. "Dogo has his own agenda and nobody knows what it entails. I wish I could help you, but unfortunately I cannot."
"Liar." The red-haired woman said. "You know very well where this human is."
"Quiet Sedna." Marduk said, but it was already too late.
"What? Where? You have to tell me!"
Marduk sighed. "Very well. As you know Brooke's coma is not an ordinary one. Gemma forced her soul out of her body so he could claim it for his own. Brooke's soul was left where he was trapped. Brooke is still in the Void."
"OK, great. How do I get there?"
"Why are you so eager to find this girl?" Kyra asked curious.
"One of my friends is her sister, well, sort of. And my friend's girlfriend is also her best friend and they're both pretty miserable about the whole thing to say the least. And then there's her whole family as well of course. So I just want to help them."
"You are not doing this for the girl herself?"
"Well, yeah, of course." Lily hastily said. "But I'm doing this for a lot of other people as well. Now tell me, how do I get to the Void to save Brooke?"
"It's pretty simple." Sedna said. "Just go through that door." She pointed over to a wall where a door appeared.
"Is that it?" Lily asked.
"Of course not." The guardian of the waves said. "That door will take you to the Void. Once there you'll have a hell of a time trying to find that girl."
"OK, I'll be off then." Lily said before leaving through the door.
"Good luck, you're sure going to need it."
The last thing Lily heard before the door closed behind her again was Sedna speaking in a calm voice, saying: 'Well, I guess that'll be the last time we see her.'
NOTE: I gave myself a little role in this part, so sue me. I'm the writer and if I want to be in one of my stories then I'm going to be in it! Extra points for those who can guess my nationality!
The Void turned out to be a great big lot of nothing. Darkness was the only thing Lily could see. There wasn't even anything to stand on, or so it seemed. She looked behind her to see that the door she had come in through was already gone.
(Oh well, might as well start walking.) She thought to herself.But walking turned out to be a difficult business. Without any vantage points she didn't know where she was going and the lack of air also made it feel as if she wasn't moving. As a matter of fact Lily wasn't sure if she was moving period. Maybe she couldn't move in this place. While Lily enjoyed the absence of the sun, this complete lack of any kind of light freaked her tremendously. Before she came here Lily had a simple plan:
1) Find Brooke and
2) Convince her to leave here.
Now she realised that this plan had two serious flaws. Namely:
1) Finding Brooke in what was essentially nothing was almost impossible and
2) Leaving here also seemed to be impossible.
But Lily firmly put all those thoughts from her mind and started walking again. Or so she hoped.
She had been walking around for an eternity when she heard someone singing. She couldn't understand the words and the tune wasn't exactly melodious either.
"Tjibbe, Sjoerd en Wibbe, die zouden het wel rooien,
Tjibbe, Sjoerd en Wibbe, die zaten wat te klooien."
The song, or whatever it was, was interrupted because the singer started snickering. After a few moments he continued, but still Lily had no idea what it meant, or what was so funny about it.
"Zijn in een wak gereden, volledig overleden,
Zo heb je 't over Friezen, zo heb je 't over dooien.
De Elfstedentocht in de bocht."
A teenager appeared as if out of nowhere. The guy was rather tall, skinny, wore glasses and could overall be described as someone who just doesn't stand out. The kind of guy you forget if you don't meet him regularly.
"Hi, do you speak English?" Lily asked.
"A little." Was the short response.
"OK, have you seen a blonde girl around here, about my age?"
"You're new to the Void, aren't you?" The guy said, his accent was almost flawless.
"How'd you guess?"
"Listen, the Void isn't a physical place as you might have already guessed. This," He gestured at his body. "Isn't my real body. It's a mere reflection of it to make it understandable for me. So if you're going to look to for this person, then you'll keep looking. But if you find her then you will find her." He stared of into the distance when he thought over what he had just said. "Did that make sense?" He asked.
"I'm not sure."
"Well, I was about to go home now. Good luck finding that friend of yours. Just remember, all this doesn't exist. It's just a reflection." The darkness increased for a moment and before Lily could ask how _she_ could leave here the guy was already gone.
Lily took a deep breath and started trying to make sense out of what that guy had just told her.
"OK, so, this place doesn't exist. I mean, it does exist, but not in the way that I see it. Brooke is here somewhere, but unfortunately 'here' also doesn't exist." The entire concept started to make her head hurt. "OK, Brooke's here, I'm here. So technically we're in the same place." She said determined.
The darkness around her started changing and in mere seconds the complete emptiness was gone.
Too bad it wasn't Brooke that filled the emptiness, but a huge wall made out of reinforced concrete.
Well, it was better than nothing.
NOTE: While I could never hope to stand in the shadow of Aeryn Sun with my humble (and slightly warped) fics, I'll just keep writing them in the hopes people find them sufficient to pass the time with until the aforementioned Fic-Godess has posted another fic.
Lily had expected a lot from the Void. The vast nothing all around her had not surprised her. It had _freaked_ her, but not _surprised_ her. And she didn't find it all that strange to find a large concrete wall in the middle of nothing.
But two Brookes?
Not even the Universe was prepared for two Brookes.
And yet, there they were. One lying on the nothing that could pass for the ground and one smiling broadly in her direction.
"So… Which one of you is the real Brooke?" Lily asked uncertain.
"Neither of us." The conscious Brooke cheerfully responded. "But if you're looking for her I can take you there."
Before Lily could say another word Brooke had already taken a firm grip on her wrist and dragged her towards a door in the massive wall.Lily was absolutely certain that that door hadn't been there a few seconds ago, but after two Brookes nothing could surprise her any more.
Not even a Mary Cherry who acted nice.
No, wait, that _would_ surprise her.
Not even the existence of several alternate universes inside our own.
There, much more believable.
Anyway, Lily soon found herself in an empty space between two concrete walls which she -for lack of a better definition- choose to call a corridor. Lily didn't have the time to look around since Brooke quickly dragged her along. Which was a pity since the corridor was filled with Brookes. It was like someone had organised a Brooke-lookalike contest and all the contenders had to show a different side of the _real_ Brooke. In her hurried run down the corridors Lily noticed a Brooke sitting behind a desk carefully studying something, she saw several Brookes gossiping with each other -which was quite a disturbing sight-, she saw a painting Brooke, she saw a Brooke glaring at her, in short, Lily saw all kinds of Brookes. And unfortunately Lily seemed to be stuck with Annoyingly Cheerful Brooke.
Annoyingly Cheerful Brooke's pace increased and Lily could just barely see that they were passing a Brooke sitting on the ground against the wall, sombrely staring off into the distance.
"Come on," Annoyingly Cheerfully Brooke said. "We're here to meet the real me, remember?"
"But…" Lily started, looking back at the sitting Brooke that seemed strangely out of place.
AC Brooke looked towards the Brooke Lily was staring at and snorted. "Oh you don't want to meet her. She's so depressed it's not even funny any more." AC Brooke quickly cheered up again. "Oh well, time's awasting. We're almost there."
Before Lily could say 'Now just wait a minute' AC Brooke had already dragged her around a corner. The brunette was dragged along once more and during her brief tour of the corridors she could see an entire range of Brookes pass. Each and every one of them seemed as unreal as AC Brooke was. They stopped a few times when AC Brooke wanted to talk to another Brooke, but overall they proceeded quickly.
But after a while Lily started doubting. Yes, they were covering a lot of _distance_, but were they actually _going_ somewhere?
AC Brooke, closely and increasingly unwillingly followed by Lily, turned a corner and ran into another concrete wall.
"That's odd." AC Brooke said. "I'm sure this wasn't here the last I've been here. Oh well, don't you worry. I know a way around it. Come on."
"Wait a minute." Lily said, finally managing to free her arm from AC Brooke's steel grip. "You're not the real Brooke."
And that's when Lily figured it out.
"I told you that before silly." AC Brooke said.
"You're one of Brooke's creations, just like these walls."
AC Brooke rolled her eyes. "Well dûh!"
"You're meant to distract me. To keep me _away_ from finding the real Brooke." It was so obvious. Why hadn't she noticed it before?
"Don't be silly." AC Brooke said laughing. "Now, let's get going."
"Oh no." Lily said. "I'm not going anywhere. Not with you."
AC Brooke stared at the empty space where she had seen Lily last before the brunette had dashed around the corner again.
NOTE: I think I've hit a small writer's block when it comes to writing notes, so I'm not writing a note this time. This note does not exist.
Lily's mad dash through the corridors came to a grinding halt after a few minutes. She had no idea where she was, where she was going or how to get there. She started walking calmly, always on the lookout for a Brooke that might want to talk to her and lead her away from the real Brooke.
The Brookes, however, didn't seem to notice her and Lily continued her trek through the maze Brooke had created. She half expected to see the Minotaur charging at her each time she turned a corner. But each time all she saw were Brookes that paid no attention to her. Something kept nagging at the back of her mind. She felt that there was something enormously obvious right in front of her, but she just couldn't see it.
Then it hit her.
The Brookes were here to distract her, but they weren't paying attention to her.
So logically, right now the Brookes didn't _need_ to distract her.Which could mean only one thing: She was going in the wrong direction.Lily turned around again to retrace her steps and before she knew it a Brooke had already clamped herself onto her.
"Hey Lily," Brooke said laughing. "You really got to hear this."
"Maybe some other time." Lily said while she tried to get out from under the arm Brooke had swung around her shoulder.
"It won't take that long." Brooke said. "You see, yesterday I was kinda following Harrison around when he…" Brooke was silent for a moment. "Or was it Josh? Anyway, Sugar…"
"Look," Lily interrupted. "I'm sure it's all very interesting, but I really need to go."
"But you still don't know what Nic…"
"Sorry." Lily quickly said as she wrestled herself free from Brooke and started running again.
Running was not a very good idea since she couldn't exactly see where she was going, but the number of Brookes trying to keep up with her told her that at least she was going in the right direction. Lily's pattern of running towards the corridors that were filled with a higher amount of Brookes was stopped when one Brooke stepped right in front of her. Brooke managed to manoeuvre Lily so that the brunette stood with her back against the wall. Brooke pinned her down with a stare that Lily didn't want to describe. It wasn't like Brooke was glaring at her, far from it.
In fact, that was the whole problem.
Before Lily could tear herself away from Brooke's gaze long enough to come up with a plan to escape she could feel Brooke's lips gently brushing against her own. Everything around Lily fell away. (This isn't the real Brooke.) The small part of her brain that was still in operation told her.
The kiss deepened and Lily swung her arms around Brooke.
(No, stop that.)
A soft moan managed to escape from Lily's throat.
(Are you even listening to me?)
Brooke broke the kiss and, still gazing intently into Lily's eyes gestured with her head towards a door in the opposite wall. The door swung open to reveal a small room that contained exactly four walls, one door (currently open) and one bed. Brooke took Lily's hand and carefully led the brunette towards the room.
Lily kissed Brooke just before they entered the bedroom. Then she forcefully shoved Brooke into the room.
"Sorry Brooke." Lily apologised before she slammed the door shut.Lily continued running, all the while trying to get rid of the look of hurt on Brooke's face just before she had shut the door.
After a few more minutes -and several more attempts from Brooke to stop her-, Lily finally found the Brooke she was looking for. Brooke still sat motionless on the floor, the sombre look on her face still in place.
"Brooke?" Lily asked softly.
Brooke looked up to her. Her stare chilled Lily to the core. Never before had she seen anyone so sad, hurt, lost and depressed. Brooke stood up, turned her back towards Lily and started running.
(I'm getting so tired of all this running.) Lily angrily thought as she went in pursuit.
Brooke managed to stay ahead of Lily, but she couldn't lose her. Lily always saw just in time which corner Brooke turned and with fierce determination kept chasing Brooke.
Lily could see that Brooke was starting to get tired and the brunette slowly gained on her. Lily had almost caught Brooke when the blonde turned a corner. Lily swiftly followed and ran straight into a wall.Lily burst out in an angry tirade directed at Brooke. After a few moments Lily managed to get a hold of herself again, but that was mainly because she was out of things to say. She sighed, turned around and started looking for a way around the wall.
At the other side of the wall Brooke had been listening at every word Lily had yelled. A huge grin flashed over her face. In less than a second it was gone, replaced by a mask of dark melancholy.
Brooke turned away from the wall and continued running.
NOTE: This story is probably beginning to come to a close since I have no more ideas of how to stop Lily from getting to Brooke without getting repetitive. That doesn't mean that I haven't got any more surprises in store, however.
As if being lost in a maze in the middle of nothing wasn't bad enough already Lily now had yet another problem. Or, to be more precise, she had two more problems. First problem was of course the wall that had suddenly appeared in the middle of the corridor so Lily couldn't follow Brooke any more. The second problem was the wall that had appeared in the corridor she had come from, so she couldn't go back either. In short, Lily was trapped.
The brunette paced back and forth around the corner a few times for no other reason than to stay in motion. After a while she stopped pacing back and forth and stopped in front of the wall Brooke had disappeared behind. She stared at the wall in frustration and then angrily punched the blasted thing.
Her hand went straight through it.
Lily took her hand out of the wall again and stared at it in wonder. She looked back at the wall that still looked as solid as it had before. Lily groaned when she figured out what was going on.
(An illusionary wall.)
"Thanks loads Brooke!" She angrily shouted into the nothing.
She focused her attention on the wall again and carefully stuck out her arm.
Her arm disappeared gracefully into the wall.
Lily closed her eyes and stepped forward.
After a few paces she opened her eyes again and saw the corridor stretching out in front of her. She looked back to see the wall already gone. Lily carefully started walking again. Brooke could be anywhere by now so running around aimlessly wouldn't do her any good. She once again tried to find the corridors where several Brookes were lounging about, but she couldn't find any.
(She must've figured out how I've managed to trace her.) Lily thought. (This is going to be difficult.)
Luck was on Lily's side however, because soon she found Brooke sitting against a wall again. The blonde noticed her, got up and started running again. Lily smiled and started her pursuit.
(You are _not_ getting away this time.)
Brooke fled around a corner and when Lily turned it she saw another wall blocking her path. She hesitated for less than a second before running into it. As she had expected it was another illusion. When Brooke came into range Lily threw herself at the blonde and pinned her to the ground.
"Not yet." Brooke hissed quietly. "It's too early."
With superhuman strength Brooke managed to break free from Lily and continued running.
Lily, still a little shocked by Brooke's unexpected words, stood frozen for several seconds.
(Hurry up!) Her brain told her. (You're gonna lose her!)
She started running again following Brooke as best as she could. The fake walls kept growing in number and several Brookes reappeared in an attempt to stop her. Lily wrestled her way through all of it, her eyes firmly fixed on the ghastly figure of Brooke always several paces in front of her. After a while she got the feeling that Brooke was toying with her, always staying just out of range, but never managing to get away whenever Lily was stopped by a particular large crowd of Brookes blocking her path.
(Maybe this is diversion as well.) Lily thought. (Maybe that isn't the real Brooke either and is leading me away from the real Brooke as well.)
Lily pushed those thoughts from her mind. If she was going to start thinking like that she would never find Brooke.
But the doubts still kept nagging at the back of her head.
But Lily kept running determined to catch this Brooke whether this was the real one or not. She needed to have something to focus or she might get lost even more in this vast maze.
Then the unthinkable happened.
Lily turned another corner expecting to see another fake wall and possibly a few Brookes, but what she saw was just one Brooke.
The Brooke she had been chasing.
Brooke casually leaned against the wall, her arms crossed in front of her and a smirk on her face.
"Well, you finally made it." She said. "Congratulations."
NOTE: It just occurred to me that this is one of the few Popular slash-fics with Lily as the leading lady. While I don't have anything against either Sam or Brooke, it'd be nice to see an entire fic devoted solely to… Mary Cherry, for instance.
Lily groaned. "You're not the real Brooke."
"Afraid not." Brooke answered. "But I _am_ the only Brooke that Brooke has no control over."
"Could you please explain that a little?" Lily asked.
Brooke sighed. "I'm not sure if I can." The blonde was silent for a few moments. "I suppose you could call me the survival instinct. I'm that little voice at the back of your head that refuses to let you die. I'm the part of you that prevents you from throwing yourself in front of a train. And right now, I need your help."
Brooke's survival instinct sighed again. "She doesn't listen to me any more. All she wants to do right now is just sit here and whiter away." The girl looked up and Lily could see fire burning in her eyes. "But I won't let that happen. That's where you come in. I can't get through to her any more, but I think you can."
"Why do you think that? We're not even really friends so why would she listen to me if she doesn't even listen to herself?"
"Call it a hunch." Brooke said grinning. "Anyway, Brooke's behind this very wall."
"Great." Lily said sarcastically. "Any ideas how I can get there?"
Brooke punched the wall once. It quickly crumbled leaving a large gaping hole. "I got a few ideas."
"This isn't another trick, right?" Lily asked. After everything she had seen in this place she had become a little suspicious.
"Would I lie to you?" Brooke asked.
"You don't want me to answer that." Lily sighed. "But I do believe you." The brunette was about to step through the hole when a thought occurred to her. "How come you're more real than all the other Brookes I've seen around here?" She asked.
"Simple." The survival instinct responded. "I _am_ real."
When Lily got at the other side of the wall she found herself in a large movie theatre. There were several rows of chairs, but only a few of them were occupied. They mostly contained Brookes who were all deeply touched by whatever was on the screen, because they were all teary-eyed and used an impressive amount of handkerchiefs to dry their eyes. Out of curiosity Lily turned her attention to the large screen. What she saw wasn't very pleasant.
She saw Romeo who thought that Juliet had poisoned herself.
She saw Orpheus who was forced to watch his beloved Eurydice disappear into the underworld again.
She saw Hamlet throwing himself into Ophelia's grave.
She saw the Thought Police tearing Winston and Julia apart.
She saw John Crichton watching Aeryn's ejector seat crash into a frozen lake.
She saw Willow taking care of an insane Tara.
She saw herself walking alone through the hallways of Kennedy High.
More images and scenes appeared and disappeared again, but the main theme was more than obvious. Lily tore her eyes away from the screen and scanned the rows of seats in the hopes of finding the real Brooke.She wasn't all that difficult to find.
She was the one who just didn't display _any_ emotional response.
Lily climbed the steps towards her and sat down next to Brooke.
The blonde didn't acknowledge her presence.
"Nice collection you got here." Lily said and hoped her voice sounded light-heartedly.
Brooke didn't respond. But then, Lily didn't expect any response. "I really had a hell of a time finding you."
Brooke briefly glanced at her, but soon focused her attention back at the screen.
"Don't ignore me Brooke. I'm not going anywhere."
"Yes you are." Brooke suddenly said. "You're only here to take me away from this place and then you'll leave again."
"What do you mean by that?"
Brooke remained silent again.
"I won't leave you." Lily tried. "I promise."
"Have you taken a good look at the screen?" Brooke said, her voice still devoid of emotion.
"What did you see?"
"That's all?" Brooke's monotone voice seemed to be underlined with a hint of bitterness.
"Well… I also saw…"
Lily's sentence remained unfinished.
(Me.) She thought. (Between all those couples I saw myself. Does this mean that… Brooke loves me?)
"Do you… do you love me?" Lily asked.
Brooke turned away from Lily so the brunette couldn't see her face. "Yes."
"Too long." Brooke stared at the screen again. "I can't go back. It hurts too much."
"Well how about Mike? Or Nic? Or even Sam? Don't you think you're hurting them as well with staying here?"
Brooke shrugged. The universal sign meaning 'I don't care'.
"Don't you think you're hurting me?" Lily tried.
"No. You don't care about me."
"That's not true Brooke."
"Really?" Brooke said sarcastically.
"You can't keep hiding here Brooke."
The blonde chuckled humourlessly. "Thought so."
"Brooke please, for me?"
The Brookes in the audience disappeared when the blonde turned her attention to Lily again.
"Do I have a chance?"
"I… I don't know. I just don't know you well enough."
"Can we at least be friends?"
Lily smiled. "Of course."
A voice sounding exactly like Brooke's voice could be heard from the other side of the hole. "YES!"
The walls started fading and the movie theatre slowly disappeared as well. The Void started become brighter, the dark nothing making way for light nothing. Lily saw Brooke's survival instinct smiling broadly just before she disappeared as well.
When Lily looked back, however, she saw four more walls remaining. Four walls Brooke was blissfully unaware of. And just before the Void disappeared completely Lily wondered just what was so deeply hidden that not even Brooke knew about it.
** Epilogue **
Lily woke up back in her room. A brief glance at her alarm clock told her that she had been away for either twenty-four hours or that no time had passed at all. She quickly got up and left her room. After a frantic dash Lily arrived at the hospital. She immediately ran straight towards Brooke's room. Just before the door she stopped a moment to catch her breath. She walked into the room to find that Brooke had indeed regained consciousness.
"Hey there." Lily greeted.
"Hi." Brooke said with a weak smile.
Lily made her way over to the bed and looked at the blonde. Brooke seemed content with just looking back.
"Why are you wearing sunglasses?" Brooke suddenly asked.
"I…" Lily stopped herself before she told her usual lie of 'I have a migraine'. Lying to Brooke right now just seemed so wrong. Lily prayed that Brooke wouldn't completely freak if she heard the truth.
(Sam's gonna kill me for this.)
"Brooke, there are a couple of things you need to know…"
The End, for now.
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