[fic] Digital Devil Saga, "700 Words on Gale" 700 Words on Gale Digital Devil Saga everyone loevs Gale! Worksafe, mild spoilers for DDS2.
"I do not comprehend."
No, Serph thinks, you do not. You are hurt, you are constantly suffering for your exclusion, your somehow-different-ness from the rest of us. And yet you do not show it. You swallow it back, hold it deep in your throat behind all the strategy and Embryon-centric goals.
It has never occurred to you to be disloyal. It has never occurred to you to be selfish.
You love the Embryon in a manner I doubt you can even understand.
Serph puts his hand to Gale's cheek. Gale's eyes widen slightly, glitter green. Serph smiles and leans in.
Too much shit comes down to that one moment that never got resolved where it'd have been me or him if Sera hadn't stepped in.
To this day Heat thinks he wouldn't have minded eating Gale.
Nah, he knows he wouldn't. Gale's -- stuffy, Gale talks shit all the time. Gale's not the leader -- nobody but Serph's the leader -- but if Serph were gone it'd be Gale who would fight him for the role.
Like hell that's happening. He pins Gale's throat between his hands, grins. He won't kill him. Gale knows that. But still:
"Gotcha," Heat says.
Argilla is entirely aware she frustrates Gale. It's not like she's often happy, but when she is, she wants to tease, wants to poke at him, make him squirm a little.
And the best part is how he doesn't. She'll tease him for his (lack of) personality, his inability to get these things, and the best she ever gets from him is a twitch of the eyebrows, a protest about his lack of comprehension.
It makes her feel warm.
It makes her feel comfortable.
"It makes no sense," she says aloud.
"You act," Gale says, "very strange sometimes."
"I'm tellin' you, bro. You got to lighten up a little, ja?"
Cielo is draped across several chairs. Gale says. "I am light enough to function."
"It's about more den just functioning, Gale! It's about living, ja? About feelin' the rhythm in you. Dat's more den just your heartbeat! Dat's your soul."
"My soul," Gale says. "Between you and Lupa you'll find me believing in too many invisible things that I appear to store inside me. Honour. A soul."
"You don't think you got a soul, brudda?"
Gale is silent. He says, finally, "How would one see such a soul?"
Funny what such a big deal shame makes. Roland feels it burning through him harder, faster, more sickeningly than the drink ever did. Funny what a big deal it is to realize... what? Nothing he didn't already know. He's a hypocrite. Better men than him have died for better things.
So why should it be such a big deal for someone he's never known, never met to be disappointed in him? To express it like that?
He puts his flask down slowly. It's still half full.
"Maybe," he says aloud, testing his resolve, "I won't pick this back up again."
Sera holds him to her. He's unfamiliar, a complete stranger, but he's in pain. Strange; she's not sure they know what pain is. She knows, and doesn't know why she'd think they wouldn't.
But that's how it is.
Slowly, he changes against him. It's so even, so measured that she can feel every pulse of his body as it slips its boundaries and slides back into the human. She breathes against him. He can feel that. The thought comes with a strange sort of awe.
She looks down at the man who's cradled to her as he opens his eyes.
He burns an offering for the dead.
It is not his religion, it is not his ritual, it is not something he understands. Not truly. Some things, he has come to realize, defy comprehension.
And that is fine.
Even as a ritual unfamiliar to him, it has his comfort. There is something; there is fire; there is nothing but ash and the scent of the fire on the wind. It leaves a strange feeling inside him, half hollow, half relieved. A lanced injury, he thinks distantly. Free from lingering poison.
Gale says, "Godspeed, Lupa," and lets the ashes drift away.