~Chapter Two: Connection~
Awareness came back slowly to Vincent, his head and body aching. Those amber eyes slowly opened and a low groan escaped his lips. As he levered himself up, he carefully observed his surroundings. His eyes widened in panic as he saw he was in a strange cage, bars made of metal. In one swift movement he pressed his back against the wall of the cell, beads and bangles making noise as he did so.
"Good. You're awake," Cid said, half to himself and half to the native, coming up to the bars and unlocking the cell door.
As the light haired one approached the door, the native snarled and hissed, hand grabbing at his missing knife. This discovery only angered him more as he pressed his back harder against the wall. He should have just ran when he had the chance. This one was just like the others.
Cid entered the cell, closing the door behind him and leaning back against it. "You don't gotta be afraid of me, y'know. Don't be afraid."
Amber eyes regarded the creature suspiciously. It was leaning casually, speaking in a calming tone. The language sparked another memory in him, recalling forgotten lessons.
"You?" He said in a low voice, still unsure of the other.
"Me?" Cid furrowed his brow in confusion.
Vincent closed his eyes in concentration, "Who... you?"
"Cid. Name's Cid." The Highwind's captain walked over to sit on the cell's cot. "Do you have a name?" he asked carefully.
Vincent watched cautiously as Cid sat down near him. "...Vuisen," he slowly said, language lilting.
Cid frowned. "Vincent?" That was what he heard. Close enough?
The native blinked at Cid. Vincent? He decided to allow it, not having enough vocabulary in the language to correct it. Vincent slowly creeped toward the other. "What you?"
"Me? I'm a pilot. I usually fly this thing." Cid indicated the area around them, meaning the ship. "But now I'm just captain of it. Captain... leader."
Vincent shook his head, tentatively poking the other in the chest. "...Man...?"
Cid blinked. "Oh. Yes, man."
Vincent looked at Cid, now knowing that it was a he. What puzzled him was the tan skin and the light hair. He reached out and touched a lock of it, utterly amazed at it's lightness. Vincent looked down into the sky blue eyes, amazed at their color.
"It's from the sun," Cid explained. "Uh, if you... stay in the sun... for a long time... it makes hair lighter and skin darker."
Vincent reached down and grabbed Cid's wrist. He slowly removed the odd covering, revealing a large, callused hand. His held up his own small, pale hand in comparison, amazed by the differences.
Cid looked at their hands together, then slowly weaved his bigger fingers through Vincent's lithe, ivory ones. Their palms pressed together warmly.
Vincent looked up at him in surprise before slowly closing his fingers as well. This one didn't seem like the others. This one actually...cared. The others had seen him as an animal but this one hadn't.
"You want food?" Cid asked, keeping their hands together. "I can getcha some, if you want..." Vincent nodded, vaguely understanding the words. He looked at their hands, a despondent expression settling on his face. "But hey," Cid added, standing and separating their hands. "I can help you, but you gotta stay in here." He pointed at the floor. "Okay?"
Vincent nodded, wrapping his arms around himself. It was cooler in here than it was outside. He already missed the warmth of Cid's hand.
"Oh, you're cold." Cid slipped his flight jacket off of his shoulders and wrapped it around Vincent, who stared at him in awe before ducking his head. He wrapped the coat tighter around himself. It smelled odd, like the cage he was in. Even so, he found it almost comforting.
Cid exited, but came back five minutes later with a small burlap sack filled with various fruit he'd snatched from the mess hall. "I dunno what you guys eat over here, so I just took some of this stuff... it's all fresh, I think... guys in the mess got it from the island..."
Vincent looked into the sack, pulling out an exotic looking yellow fruit. He bit into it, quickly wiping up the juices that ran down his chin from it. He looked up to watch Cid over the fruit.
Cid nodded encouragingly. "Go ahead. Eat all of it. Don't think it'll be missed much."
Vincent ruffled through the sack, pulling out an identical fruit and offering it to Cid while taking another bite of his own.
Cid shook his head. "No, I don't need it."
Vincent scowled, pushing it into the man's hands. He continued eating his own, eyes daring the pilot to try it.
Cid took a bite out of the fruit, and found himself surprised at how sweet it was. "Do these really grow here?" he asked.
Vincent smiled slightly at the captian. He was about to take another bite when he heard a familiar voice down the hall, the eerie one from before. Vincent dropped his fruit and hissed, backing up into the corner.
"Hey, hey." Cid put a hand on Vincent's shoulder. "Don't be afraid." Vincent dropped the jacket, clenching his fists. His amber eyes seemed to take on a brighter tone in his anger, lithe body quivering.
Cid backed up a little and said slowly, "Listen. I'm going to try as hard as I can to keep you safe. But I can't do that if you go nuts and start hurtin' people."
Vincent hissed at the door, ignoring Cid's words. The voice came closer and Vincent glared at the bars, waiting for the first sight of the man.
At that moment, Hojo stepped up. That's when Cid noticed that no one was with him; he'd been talking to himself. He swallowed hard.
"How is our little subject doing this fine evening?" Hojo asked smoothly, unlocking the cell. Cid grabbed onto the bars to keep it closed.
"Hey, not right now, alright? Let him settle down more. He trusts me."
"Charming." Hojo ignored Cid and shoved the cell open.
Vincent snarled and leaped at the newcomer, determined to tear him to pieces.
Hojo pressed a small button on a remote he held in his hand, activating a sudden shock in the thin collar he'd secured around Vincent's neck.
Vincent dropped to the floor with a loud yelp, seizing as the powerful jolt ran through him. Enraged eyes landed on the man again and despite the pain, Vincent launched at him again.
Hojo's scrawny thumb pressed down on the button again, not lifting, slamming Vincent with jolt after jolt. Cid grabbed his wrist and tossed the remote across the hall, exiting and closing the door behind him.
"Stop it," he growled.
"You want to keep your job, don't you?" Hojo asked coyly.
"I'm startin' to have my doubts."
"But no job means no way off the island," Hojo pointed out. Cid grimaced. "And I doubt your native friend's fellow savages will take so kindly to you."
Cid glowered at Hojo as he continued down the hall to the main laboratory.
Vincent lay in a heap on the floor, clawing at the collar around his neck. Red lines ran across his throat from the strength of the shocks. Hazy amber eyes rolled up to the pilot outside the cell.
Once Hojo was out of sight, Cid quickly returned to the cell's interior, kneeling next to the prisoner and helping him into a sitting position, leaning him against his shoulder.
Vincent weakly clawed at the collar, quickly losing his grip on reality. Amber eyes drooped and he was vaguely aware of the pilot lifting him upright.
"Sorry," Cid breathed, struggling to bring Vincent to his feet before lifting him easily and laying him down on the cot.
Amber eyes drifted closed and softly murmured before losing reality completely.
Cid leaned in and tried to find a way to remove the collar, but to no avail. He cursed under his breath before standing and leaving the cell, slamming the door shut behind him. He headed up the hallway, intent on finding Reno.
He found him leaning against the outside of the complex, admiring the view. This mission was definitely going to be easy. Finding the native had put Hojo in a good mood. Reno wasn't complaining; it meant a higher paycheck.
"Hey! Reno!" Cid all but roared, stomping up to Reno in a rage. "You knew, you bastard. You knew that Hojo meant to experiment on these people. Colonize my ASS!"
Reno lazily looked at the enraged pilot, not at all intimidated. "Didn't mean we expected to find one on the first day."
"When you came to offer me this goddamn job, you said this place was probably uninhabited!" Cid snapped. "You said you wanted settlements! Guess you forgot to mention that the boss-man just wanted as many natives as he can fit into a goddamn petri dish, eh?"
"Let the man do what he wants, yo. The savage will keep him busy and outta our hair. I know for a fact that you like the slimeball about as much as I do but I'm choosing to stay on his good side."
"By standin' there twiddlin' your goddamn thumbs while he tortures and kills these people?" Cid stepped in front of Reno, seething.
"I've only seen one so far man. And by the looks of the ones we have, the professor will have his hands full," Reno paused, cocking his head slightly. "Why you care so much anyways? The savage can't understand us and acts like some jungle animal."
Cid turned away, almost shaking with anger. "No... he can understand us. Me, anyway. You assholes just don't bother to make the connection."