Chapter Six: A New Friend(?)

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It was silent for a few moments after we introduced each other. I lifted my ear up and placed it onto the wall, listening as best I could to the new room.

It was deathly silent in the other room, but I could hear a few jingles if I listened hard enough. Bells. What the hell were bells doing in a prison cell? Did he bring them with him?

"You've grown silent. Is something giving you trouble, trouble?" I flinched once I heard him speak up, bells jingling as he spoke. Must have been on his person.

"Nope. Just not a talkative person. Especially since I know literally nothing about you." It wasn't a hundred percent a lie. I didn't like talking to people I don't know, especially criminals (despite the technicality that I'm a criminal myself). But I did tend to talk more than this, regardless.

"Alright, if you don't mind me asking, whatcha in here for?" Best to start off with that. Given that he's been in here for a while, it's best to make sure whether he's really a psychopath or if he's just in here for a dumbass reason that the kings saw as horrid.

"I am innocent, innocent. I just wanted to play a game game. But the boring kings found such fun to be a trouble." Okaaaaaaaaaaay. Maybe a few pranks that went the wrong way, the king of Diamonds was never fond of pranks and he did lock up a few people because of it.

"As punishment, they craved to imprison my body. But I'm fast, fast, clever, clever. They lost the chase, and locked up their entire race, building a prison around the whole world. Now I'm the only free one." ... what. The. Fuck.

"Okay yeah then why are you the one locked up?"

"Things don't seem such from here, daughter of hearts!" Okay I guess he had a point there. Where he is makes it seem like I'm the one locked up.

"So... what was the game that got you locked up? I know the court of Diamonds isn't that big a fan of pranks after their jester went missing, so maybe they overreacted and I can vouch to get you out."

"No no, twas not just the Diamonds who wanted to imprison me. All the kings found my fun to be a trouble!" All of them? The hell? They never got along with anything!

"All of them huh? Well congrats to you for pissing them all off to the point they agree on something. There's gotta be some sort of medal for that, given how much they bicker." I heard a laugh from the other side of the wall and a small smile crossed my face. He had a nice laugh, whoever he was. Very contagious.

"And you, you? You are on the run as well, what do they fine upsetting of you?" The question made me fall silent, an uncomfortable knot settling in the pit of my stomach.

"...I was born. Like I told you, three of the kings were locked away and the rest of their courts are on the run, except the soldiers... pretty sure I'm one of the only ones left from the original family of hearts. I have to run. If I don't, I'm pretty sure I'll be beheaded, exiled, or jailed even worse than me running all the time with no hope... needless to say, sounds like we both have our own targets on our backs, huh?" It was silent. I couldn't even hear the bells anymore. Heh, must have even freaked out the crazy one with my sob story.

"That is one of the worst kind of prisons. I hope you'll be free, free soon." A few simple words was enough for me to start choking back tears. I never heard those words, or anything similar, from anyone.

No one at all ever told me anything close to hoping things would get better, yet a stranger who somehow pissed off everyone was the one to tell me. It was strange that he cared, but at the same time... it meant a lot.

I wiped my eyes to keep myself from crying and took a deep breath, turning my head to face the wall and placing a hand against it.

"Thank you. I hope so too..." It was silent once more, but this time was much more comfortable. Like the kind of silence after recovering from laughing so hard you couldn't breathe and you take a moment to compose yourself. It was nice. A moment of peace that I hadn't had in years... I loved it.

I don't know how, but I ended up falling asleep.

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"Rabbit of hearts? Is something troubling you?"

"Huh?" I turned my head and saw the Jester standing behind me, a worried expression on his face. I quickly wiped my tears away, turning to face him.

"N-No, I'm fine!" I gave him a small smile, but it didn't seem to phase him. He kneeled down to my height and rested a hand on my shoulder, his face softening.

"You know I am here if you're not feeling well. You can tell me what ails you." He smiled reassuringly and my frail walls fell apart. My eyes started to tear up and I tightly hugged him, sobbing into his shoulder. He held me close, letting me sob for as long as I possibly needed.

After a few moments, I pulled away, wiping my eyes.

"Thank you. Sorry for crying like that."

"No apologies needed. A well of tears can only be filled so much before it overflows." I nodded, smiling softly.

"Things have been... tough at home. Mama and papa are always working and it's stressing them out... they've been fighting a lot more lately and I'm getting worried." The Jester's eyes softened and he pulled me into another hug.

"I'm terribly sorry you are undergoing such stress. Family squabbles should not be something a child is forced to experience. Do not fret, if your parents do love each other, they will find a way to solve this conflict. I promise you that." My smile widened and I giggled, feeling my SOUL lighten immensely.

"Thank you. I needed that."

"It's a pleasure to help you rabbit of hearts."

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I was yanked out of my dream by the sound of bells, my eyes slowly opening as my ears twitched.

"Wha...?"

"Ah! You're still here after all! You fell silent, silent so I thought you left." I rubbed my eyes and yawned, stretching my arms above my head.

"Nah my dude, just passed out. Guess not sleeping for three days straight makes it easier for you to fall asleep the minute you relax."

"You must take better care, daughter of hearts!"

"Yeah yeah I know I'll try." I smiled and rolled my eyes. Worrywart psycho.

"I grew curious while you were in the dreamworld. How would you describe yourself? I grow curious to know, yet the walls of your prison cannot let me see for myself." Well that's one weird way to ask what I look like but okay.

"Alright then... Well, I'm a rabbit for one, my fur's [H/C], [E/C] eyes, [F/C] dress that reaches my knees with a black belt below my chest, a small tail below the belt, my hair reaches my shoulders, and I have an emerald choker. It's kinda my lucky charm, I never take it off."

"Ah, I see I see! Quite the look of royalty!" I rolled my eyes and smiled.

"More like the look of someone who barely has a dime to her name, but thanks." I stood up slowly, stretching my ears out.

"Look, as fun as it was getting to talk to you, I have to go. I can't stay in one place for too long and it'll only be a matter of time before someone ends up coming down here and finds me."

"Before you go, go, would you like to play a game with me, me... ?" A game huh? Games landed him in jail... but I got nothing better to do. Besides, it's the least I can do for him making me feel better.

"Alright, I'll bite. How do I play?"

"Find the key, and I'll let you be free, free. The key is hidden from the eyes. The old shopkeeper knows a secret." Old shopkeeper huh? Alright... let's see what'll happen.

"I'll be back as soon as I find it." I left the cell with that one promise, heading towards the elevator. A key huh? Old shopkeeper? Alright then. Let's do this.

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Let the games begin ladies, gentlemen, and non-binary alike ^^ Le pic by me!

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