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Draw Near and Fear Not

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He wants to leave the goddamn plane in the fucking dust, light of creation be damned.

He wants his sisters back but both of them are too fucking heroic and self-sacrificing for their own good. Lup’s lost to him physically, off on her dumb journey to clean up their stupid mess which he can struggle through existing with because there's a chance he'll find her if he just looks hard enough--but Lucretia.

It’s easier when she’s sleeping, and she sleeps a lot. Sleeps anywhere and everywhere so long as one of them are in the room. He thinks it’s a side effect of her spell being two parts feeblemind and one part some kind of abjuration spell nullifying bullshit. She can identify her family, feels safe with them and thus inclined to remain nearby.

She sure as fuck can’t do much else though.

Being around her is difficult, Magnus, of course, makes it his goddamn duty to stay by her side every waking moment he’s able. However, he’s also the one who’s the most insistent that they start collecting the relics, for Lucretia and Lup, but Taako feels just the smallest twinge of bitterness about that. How Magnus hadn’t been this desperate until his little sister vanished. Which isn’t fair, Taako knows that the whole crew had been devastated to lose Lup, but it’s still different for them.

Barry is the closest to understanding, but even he’s distracted from his search for Lup as they all sift through Lucretia’s literal pile of hundreds of journals.

“You know, a few of ‘em, her theories I mean, they make sense but they just won’t work!” Barry is frustrated beyond belief, practically tearing his hair out even as he pours over the books. They’ve got them divided into sections, each of them reading eighty of Lucretia’s journals then swapping, “You can’t just cut away bonds like that, you’ll end up with a shriveled husk.”

And Taako watches the exact moment that the words leave his mouth, that look in Barry’s eye when his wagging tongue makes the connection faster than his head does. That split second where the two catch up with each other and the metaphorical light bulb flashes. Barry swears up a storm, on his feet and running through the Starblaster in an instant, Taako’s quick on his heel. They dash into Davenport’s office, where the gnome is just as engrossed in Lucretia’s journals as Barry had been moments ago and Lucretia lays curled up on the captain’s settee. Their Captain startles as Barry slams both hands onto the gnome’s desk.

She severed her fucking bonds!” 

Davenport is out of his chair and vaulting over his desk to stand beside Barry in mere moments--So fast that Barry nearly falls on his ass yanking himself away so the Captain doesn’t slam into him. The gnome’s brows furrow and he spares a single glance over at Lucretia, who has startled awake at the sudden noise, “What does that mean ?” 

Barry seems to notice her for the first time since entering the room, lowering his voice slightly but losing none of it’s keen distress, “It means we can’t leave this plane.”

“Barold,” Davenport says sharply, “Explain yourself.”

Barry runs both hands through his hair, tugging desperately at the brown bangs that frame his face. Taako always teases that they make him look like an utter nerd, but their current disarray just makes him look pathetic. Barry turns his desperate gaze at Lucretia, stirring in the corner of the room though Taako does his best to ignore her.

It hurts to look for too long when she’s awake, instead Taako focuses on Barry. 

“Captain, she severed her bonds , there’s nothing tying her to the engine anymore. If we leave, she stays .” 

The room goes so quiet a pen could drop and it would sound like a redwood crashing to the ground. However, it isn’t Davenport who speaks first though Taako watches his mouth open and close wordlessly. The elf takes a small step backward, as his heart hammers in his chest at the horror slowly dawning on the three men in the room. 

“But she recognizes us,” Taako interjects softly, desperately, “She still has bonds.” 

“Scraps of them maybe, but she’s--If they’re in there they’re being stifled, they’re being starved ,” Barry’s hands tremble as he rubs his face, trying to be covert about the tears welling up but Taako recognizes his expression, “They’re dying . Who knows how long it’ll be until she just--she just forgets us.” 

“How do we fix this?” Davenport’s voice cracks like a whip, but the undercurrent is there even if he doesn’t quite say it.

How do we fix her? 

Taako’s attention finally strays to Lucretia, because he can’t look at Barry right now. Desperate and frantic and so close to tears--For once Lucretia is actually the easier thing to look at in a room, the lesser emotional toil. 

When they make eye contact the doll wearing his sister’s skin perks slightly, a slow child-like smile spreading across her features. It’s decidedly wrong. Utterly fucked up and Taako feels a small satisfaction as he scowls and the doll’s smile slowly falls replaced by that constant look of sedate confusion that always colors her face. Like the world’s most fucked up baby doll, My Little Lucretia, or some utter bullshit

Barry’s voice breaks the trance and Taako finally pries his eyes away from the waking comatose patient that is one of his best friends, “I just--I don’t know if we can, I’m almost done with my portion of the books and I think--I think she meant for this to be the effect. She wants us to stay, she knows we won’t leave her behind.” 

There’s a thud and it takes a moment for Taako to realize it’s from Davenport, so focused on Lucretia and Barry that he hadn’t bothered to pay attention to his Captain falling to his knees. Gods, this is fucked, Taako thinks. Barry crying is one thing, Barry cries every time he sees a damn cockroach but watching Davenport lose it is possibly one of the most terrifying things Taako has ever seen. 

“Lucretia--We could have--You didn’t have to do this, why didn’t you talk to us, Lucretia? I-I’m your captain--Why didn’t you trust me?” 

At the sound of her name the Lucretia-Lite in the corner perks up. She glances at the three of them, eyes traveling before she stands and glides over serenely. As if she’s not the fucking problem here. Her head cants slightly, like a confused animal as she stares down at their captain heedless of the sheer level of utter disaster she has wrecked on all of them. That she’s trapped them all on this fucking plane, forced them to clean up their mess and make this plane their final stand or abandon her

Taako feels like he’s going to be sick.