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don't be afraid

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The Innocent woke up, thanking the weekend for allowing him to sleep in. He rolled out of bed and stumbled to the kitchen, throwing some stale bread in the toaster.
He pulled out the butter as the toast finished, buttering it and sitting down on his couch.

He nibbled on it as the thoughts came rolling in.

It had been years since he had been to Kooza, but it was something that invaded his thoughts daily. He could be watching tv, slumped over his desk, or in the middle of sleep. There was no escaping the visions of bright colours and even more colourful music ringing out as a distant memory, like a tune he could never quite get out of his head.
Unlike other invasive thoughts he had though, his memories of Kooza were almost always welcome.

He glanced over at his kite, which lay tattered in the corner of his living room. It was something that reminded him of what had happened. Something to tell him to keep using his imagination, even though his dreams had failed, even as he sat through his plain office job every day, just trying to make a living.

Trying to imagine who he could’ve been, and who he could be.

He was sitting on his couch lost in his memories yet again, when the doorbell rung a familiar tune. He hesitated for a moment, before lifting himself on the couch and to greet the visitor.

He slid open the door, and just outside sat a very large, very plainly wrapped cube parcel.

The sound of a bikes bell rung in the distance.

He slammed the door shut, and threw his body against it. After a moment he steadied his breathing, and turned to put his hand on the handle.
He opened it a touch, and it was still there.

Could it truly be?

He dragged it into his house, and placed it in the very centre of his living room, moving the furniture well out of the way.

He took a step towards it, and tentatively unwrapped it. As he pulled away the wrapping, it revealed the bright red underneath.
When he finished wrapping he pushed the brown paper aside with his foot, and waited for him to come out.

He sat on his couch across the room and watched it.

After a few moments, nothing happened.

He glared at it, but still nothing. He looked away then back at it, and nothing. He groaned and threw his head back against the couch. Was someone playing some kind of sick prank on him?

He jumped up and stormed towards the box, kicking it as hard as he could. He immediately regretted it, pain shooting through his foot and bringing tears to his eyes.

He grunted and stepped back, the floor beginning to rumble beneath him. The box opened suddenly, the lid flinging backwards.

The Trickster wobbled inside wearing rags similar to how he had dressed himself in once. Smoke began to escape and envelop the room, turning it into the void between worlds.

The Trickster bent back down for a moment, and the Innocent watched him burst up and out, landing gracefully beside him.

His lip twitched upwards as he bowed, his hand flicking as it swooped downwards.

It evoked something in the Innocent that he hadn’t felt in a very long while. Butterflies, nervousness and excitement bubbled up until he started giggling happily. Of course the Trickster wouldn’t have let him have this so easily.
He knew that it was likely that he knew about the thoughts that wracked his brain constantly. He knew that all the innocent wanted was to go back there one more time.

But now he was here.
He had a chance.

The Trickster’s smirk turned into a gentle smile, his eyes soft for the Innocent.

With a flick of his wrist the baton appeared in his hand, twirling in between his fingers. His eyebrows raised and he asked the Innocent a silent question.
A moment that only the two shared.

He breathed in and nodded, and a new world burst into focus.

 

It had been ten, fifteen years since he had come to Kooza. Years since the pearly white and gold castle had sat in front of him, musicians and acrobats outweighing and flying above the regular citizens and guard.

He turned shocked to the Trickster, and he smirked like he had once before.

A sweet kiss, and a part of a dance he had long forgotten the moves to.

“Welcome home.”