"Oh, so he is special?"
Iota grins. Wildly and coldly. Then looks again at Code 016, who nervously shifts from one foot to the other, as if she is trying to see how much use he will be and then leaves, shaking her head in such way that pink hair with sweet – too sweet, fake sweet – smell nearly touch Alpha's face.
"Don't get in my way during missions" – she says before turning around the corner, and Code 016 wants to disappear even more. Alpha feels, smells his fear and insecurity, nearly hears his thoughts of not understanding what kind of life it is going to be now, that Plantation 13 and all the "friends – Alpha is not used to this word, and it sounds incredibly fake, he can't even bring himself to say it – are left behind in their simple world. Code 016 has a new world and a new, kind of, meaning – he is now a partner of a pistil with klaxosaur blood and his place is by his partner's side, in the special headquarters.
"Don't pay attention, she's always like that" – Alpha simply waves her words off and continues to go. Iota may be their leader, but sometimes it is her who gets in the way. She and Delta like to compete in killing klaxosaurs a little bit too much, even to the point they forget about main goals. "We have already learned that you are more than useful in battle, so there is no point to worry about that. Control your emotions, they will only be a bother when we get to business"
"Sure, I will give it my all!" Code 016 swears almost immediately. He reminds Alpha of a small child, always following his new partner around and gazing into his eyes, too scared to lose his newfound ability to fly, something he wished for so long. His wings, if somebody wants to put it poetically, but "The key for saving the world" never really liked poetry. He doesn't tell Code 016 to leave and doesn't says that he should stop, but never confesses that such attention is sort of pleasant either – Papa definitely will not like his best parasite being attached to anybody aside from his wise parent.
But, truly, he can't, no matter is he tries or not, force himself to see Code 016 as a mere tool and fodder.
Alpha remembers him perfectly – remembers little human boy with black hair, shining green eyes and warm red blood breaking the window of the laboratory and then running away with a small beast, which he didn't even know and which could barely say a few words. All of this was so long ago, yet remained in his memory as if happened yesterday, no matter what manipulation Doctor Franxx did with the head of his favorite experiment. Maybe some details vanished, lost in the pure snow, but sometimes, in his wrong dreams, Alpha still sees white forest, frozen narrow river, the picture book and a smiling face of another boy.
"Yes, I want to never leave your side too!"
They were children back then. Didn't understand too many things and allowed themselves too much.
Those were naive words, emotional words, and usually Alpha laughs at the other parasites for showing those. Laughs cruelly and mercilessly , not thinking about someone's feelings even for a moment, but all the things that Code 016 told him back then still make him feel warm and childishly happy. He simply can't laugh at these words, at his own precious memories, which he guards as fiercely as he once guarded his picture book.
In this book, the one that Code 016, this boy that now nervously follows him and looks around with wide-opened eyes, read him, when both of them were sitting under the mistletoe, the demon left her family and gave everything she had to become a human and be with the prince. And in the end it was all for nothing. Maybe under other circumstances Alpha would have wished to become a human too, with gentle pink skin and red blood, to get rid of the sharp horns that scare everyone so much and make other Nines feel jealous.
But he belongs to Papa. He is Papa's most obedient child and tool.
And Papa wants him as klaxosaur, not as human. Papa has thousands of humans, why would he need another one?
No, Papa wants to see a demon with red skin, blue blood, fangs, claws and horns, and that means one thing: Alpha has no right to change. He has to serve as he is.
Besides, something warm and forbidden says inside him, Code 016 was not scared of him, the horned demon, when they were children, and he was not scared when the beast threw a dead, squeezed to the last drop of life, body of its partner and prepared to destroy the klaxosaur by itself. Code 016 could have run away, following the monster's advice, but he never did and climbed into the cabin of the Franxx to help.
Code 016 remained special even without his memories.
Hiro, a thought repeats itself in Alpha's head, but he doesn't let a name escape his lips. Names are forbidden. Only numbers. That's the way Papa taught them, and it is not for Alpha to question or break these rules, no matter how much this small word means for him.
"My name is Hiro" for a very long time, nearly all his life Alpha didn't know his number or plantation, and the "name" was the only thing that connected him to the boy from winter forest. This name was something he was scared to forget as much as he he was scared to disappoint Papa.
Code 016 once gave him a name too. A name Alpha had to give up un order to receive Papa's gift.
It was enough to remember from time to time.
"It looks nothing like out house" Code 016 suddenly says, returning Alpha into reality. He still looks conflicted and unsure, but better than when Iota was standing in front of them. Right now she must be pouring her discontent on poor Zeta (One big virtue she has – never interrupting anyone). "Don't you ever feel lonely in here?"
"I don't have time to think about such things" shrugs Alpha. Even if endless corridors and white empty rooms make him feel any different, he stopped noticing it long ago, simply getting used to everything here, just as he got used to the thought of their stupid and naive child promise never coming to life. "It's not so bad here. And we visit other plantations a lot, so maybe you'll get to see your old squad".
Not friends. You can't trust so many people at the same time.
"From tomorrow we will join the others in training" Alpha's voice is calm and serious. He can't let nor himself, neither his partner relax, not when there are so many important and complicated missions ahead of them. "It may be hard until you get used to our schedule, but I expect you to give us all your strength".
"I will!" exclaims Code 016 with too many emotions in his voice, and Alpha can't stop himself from thinking that he likes it. This boy's emotions, – something he would call disgusting in any other person – his perseverance and his willingness to give all he has just to reach the sky.
Alpha's childhood memories mix with his new ones, and Hiro is as close as he has never been, yet there is a still high wall between them: obligation and duties to Papa. And this wall will never allow the human-klaxosaur hybrid to fully open to his partner.
He can kiss the other parasite right now. Alpha will never do that.
Instead he smiles like he always does and wishes Code 016 good night. Then goes to his room, still telling himself that killing klaxosaurs together is more than enough, and at the same time Alpha can't help envying "old" people, not matter how wrong and lower they were, people for whom feelings and emotions were not useless or bad, but who viewed them as a part of their daily life. Maybe if he and Hiro were born earlier...
It is no use to think about it. Now they are tools in hands of Papa, his best tools, and their destiny is to kill Papa's enemies. Make him happy. It is what they were created for.
It is for the best that Hiro doesn't remember. Makes things easier. For both of them.