Ummm ...

The firelight gave an eerie glow to the surrounding forest as Zelgadiss stepped out of the trees. As he took his place beside the three other figures gathered, one of them handed him a thermos, which he took, drinking the coffee with a relish. Upon finishing, he turned his attention back to the other people, clearing his throat before speaking, "Why, exactly, are we here?"

A young man, a child, really, looked up at him. Cobalt blue eyes burned into his with an intensity matching his own. The man, however, did not speak.

Another figure ran a hand through blonde hair, his own blue eyes alight with the faint glow of Mako. He also, did not speak, glance at Zelgadiss and tensing slightly at his appearance, but refusing to look him in the eye.

The last man shifted a bit, the silver-white streak in his hair in stark contrast to the rest of his jet- black head. Scars criss-crossed over his entire face and up his arms, giving him an odd look in the flickering light. Ruby eyes filled with something akin to detached sadness, "I was told I was to come here to look at a patient..."

Recognition flashed in Heero's eyes, but still he said nothing. Cloud, however, turned his way, an eyebrow slightly arched, "I've heard of you. The rumours circulated when I was in Shinra. An unlicenced doctor that, for the right price, can keep those touched by death alive. The infamous..."

He nodded, "Please, call me BlackJack."

Confused, the chimera looked from Heero, to Cloud, to BlackJack, and back to Heero again, "That still doesn't explain why we're all here...I was told I'd find a cure here..."

Heero grunted. Cloud nodded, "Perhaps the doctor can...ah, cure you..."

BJ assessed Zelgadiss, "I don't know if I can cure you of that skin condition, but my fee is thirteen thousand dollars, to be paid, up front. It will be refunded if I can cure you..."

Zel stood, fists clenched, "That's ludicrous, I didn't even ask you to help me! I don't need anyone's help..." He turned away, "This farce, whatever it is, is over..."

Heero stood as well, but made no move to leave. His voice was soft, almost devoid of any hint of emotion, "Sit down..."

Zel whirled around, "And who are you, to tell me what to do?!"

The young man didn't move, but the slightest hint of a smile could be heard in his voice, "I'm just like you..."


He looked from one man to another, before retaking his seat, "I think, I think that's why we're here..."

Scoffing, the ex-Shinra agent snorted derisively, "What are you talking about."

Heero, not having been told what to do, but not finding any enemy among him, winged it ((s'cuze the pun)), "My name, or the name you should know, if Heero Yuy. I was raised to be an assassin against Oz, and a Gundum Pilot. I was raised in tactics, fighting, and death." His eyes flashed, "I was not taught how to be person, or about emotions..."

Cloud blinked, flashing an uncaring smile, "Small world, eh?"

Blinking, Zelgadiss sat down again. This was so surreal... "My name is Zelgadiss Greyweyrs...My grandfather, Rezo, turned me into a chimera. I'm part demon, part golem, and part human."

Heero once again turned his gaze on Zelgadiss, speaking barely above a whisper, "Aren't we all...?"

Cloud looked to him, "What are you talking about?"

BlackJack nodded, speaking partially to himself, "I understand now...All of us have demons, and choose to hide them by suppressing our emotions. We are all scared to be human, lest it show weakness..." That said, he stood, "I don't belong here. If you'll excuse me..."

Cloud cast the doctor a withering glare, "Sit down, you're just as bad as the rest of us..." He than turned to the other two, "Now, if we're done playing musical chairs, could you explain this to me? Hurry it up, I've got things to do..."

Heero cast his unwavering eye to Cloud, "You're a soldier, figure it out. Someone obviously got us all here so that we might see each other's weakness, and find it in ourselves...Another form of training..."

"Weakness? I don't know what you're..."

Zel cast him a sideways glance, "Oh please. You're like a reed in the wind. This way, that way. I bet you don't even know who you are..."

That struck a note in Cloud, eyes positively glowing with slow-smoldering rage, "How dare you, you don't know me, know the things I've been through, had to deal with...So what if I don't know who I am? Why does it matter that I'm just some failed experiment, dumped nameless and empty into the middle of a struggle I didn't start?! It doesn't matter..." He turned his eyes to the fire, face slightly contorted in an effort to get control of himself.

Zel, pulling back a bit, blinked, "Damn..."

"Yeah, damn. That's all you can say...Stop looking at me like that, I don't need your pity..."

"Pity? I'm not giving you any pity!" Breathing deeply, the man of stone, touched in an odd sort of way, haltingly placed a hand on the other man's shoulder, "I'm merely trying to give comfort when you've had none..."

He threw the hand off, "Well, forget it, I don't need it."

"Fine!" Zel stood again, saying nothing more as he stalked off into the forest, unwilling to deal with anymore of this.

A few minutes later, BJ stood, giving a soft goodbye before also leaving for an unknown destination.

With a soft cry of rage, Cloud left also, leaving the gundum pilot alone in the soft firelight.