Chameleon Moon · writing

Stitches: A Chameleon Moon, Zilch/Finn One-Shot

Monthly Commission for Patreon Backer Dakota
$5/250 word tier, Final word count 838. 

Including the first draft-page with my weird handwriting. Then I got going and having Feels, and it turned into an actual one-shot scene! Featuring mostly Zilch/Finn but with Poly Feels flavor and ending up Finn/Zilch/Rowan/Regan. You heard me. Gosh I love the 2nd Edition.

Excerpt:

Finn held the needle so tightly his fingertips were beginning to turn white, and his entire hand shook. He stared at Zilch’s arm, the torn skin and the stitches he hadn’t made yet, and nothing else existed. While his attention was focused on the tip of that needle, on where it had to go, he heard nothing, saw nothing else. His entire world shrunk to the head of a pin. He’d thought that threading the thing would be the hard part, that surely, after that was done, the rest would be easy. He was wrong.

If you’d like to request some Chameleon Moon writing (or art, or something else, why not!) please check out the Patreon! Enjoy the Zilch/Finn-ness, under the cut!

 

Stitches

 

Finn held the needle so tightly his fingertips were beginning to turn white, and his entire hand shook. He stared at Zilch’s arm, the torn skin and the stitches he hadn’t made yet, and nothing else existed. While his attention was focused on the tip of that needle, on where it had to go, he heard nothing, saw nothing else. His entire world shrunk to the head of a pin. He’d thought that threading the thing would be the hard part, that surely, after that was done, the rest would be easy. He was wrong.

He heard something. A voice. A word? He couldn’t tell. His tunnel-vision held steady even if his hand didn’t.

“Ahh!”

Until something touched his wrist—the one he hadn’t moved in almost a full paralyzed minute—and he jumped, gasping. The hand around his shaking wrist was firm, held it steady even as the rest of him gave a wild, startled jerk.

“Breathe,” Zilch whispered for a second time, and Finn only now identified the sound from before. “You stopped again.”

“I can’t do this.” Finn shook his head, needle and thread falling from his now-numb fingertips to land with a soft clink on the counter beside them. “I’m sorry, Zilch, I just can’t.”

“Yes.” Zilch’s rasping voice was even drier after they’d been nearly burnt to a cinder. “You-“

“We need to find someone else,” Finn insisted with increasing desperation where he wished for conviction. Actually, he wished he didn’t have to say the words at all. He wished more than anything for the bravery to give Zilch what they needed. To say yes. “Like Danae, she could do this in a second. Or Evelyn.”

“They could.” Zilch did not let go of his wrist. “Don’t want them to. Want you.”

“Anyone but me would be better!” Finn protested. “I’ve never done anything like this! I can’t even hold the needle! I’m not the one we want fixing anyone.”

“Need you fixing me.” Despite their charred face, Zilch’s eyes were clear and stayed unhesitatingly on Finn’s.

“No, you need someone who actually knows what they’re doing.” Finn let his arm drop, finally breaking their contact. “We need Rowan! Or Regan! Or even—” he broke off, seeing the way Zilch’s eyes fell, so expressive even now, the pain in them clear, sharp, and devastatingly deep. “I’m sorry,” Finn whispered, clapping one hand over his mouth.

“Don’t,” they said, eyes closing, and Finn shut his eyes too, chest physically aching. He wasn’t sure which of their hearts was in pain. Maybe both.

“Zilch, I’m so sorry.”

“No. I meant, don’t be sorry.” They spoke again, more gently. Finn looked up to see that Zilch wasn’t staring at the ground as he expected. Instead, they met his eyes with the same deep sadness, but without hesitation—or blame.

“I just meant that it’d be better if you had someone else do it,” Finn tried again, in a voice softer than most people ever heard, or knew he was capable of using. “Someone you trust.”

Zilch remained quiet and still for a moment, holding his gaze with a look even he had trouble reading. Finally, their crooked mouth stretched and curled into one of the strange expressions most people found frightening, but Finn recognized as a smile. But this was an unusual one even for them. It didn’t quite chase away the loss lingering in their mismatched eyes, and it flickered and died too soon, like a candle burning down to the end of its wick. “I trust them,” they said at last in a voice like a faint wind through a crack in a stone wall. “But I trust you too.”

“You miss them.” Finn spoke almost as softly, afraid of somehow breaking the fragile spell of connection and understanding he felt falling over both of them.

“Yes. I miss them both.” Their words came out slowly. Zilch turned them around in their mouth like lifting up unfamiliar stones, finding what lay beneath both painful and cathartic. Were they just telling him a secret, or admitting it to themself for the first time? Whatever it was, he felt somehow honored to witness this moment, whether a revelation or a discovery. “But I will see them again.”

“You sound really sure about that.” Now he had to wonder something else he couldn’t ask. Which one of them was Zilch trying to reassure?

“I am.”

“How can you be?” Never mind. He had to ask.

“Because I trust them with more than just myself.” Zilch’s smile was back, and now it was real. Finn had the feeling they weren’t surprised at the question—or much he did by now. Somehow, that was a nice feeling. Warm. “I trust that they will find one another. They will come home. We will be together again. The way I trust you.”

They held up their injured arm, and Finn raised the needle and thread.

“Okay,” he said. His hands no longer shook. “Let’s try this one more time.”

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