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Second Chances

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(Prologue:Crossroads)

Faust marveled at first at the being he created from nothing but a few wooden logs he'd found around his house. For a being that was created naught but a few minutes ago she moved around as fluently as a child who'd been doing so for years ,and she marveled at the room he'd brought her to despite it's plain look. While she got acquainted with her temporary lodging Faust went to find a suitable tool for the dead he needed. Her wooden body meant that he'd have to put in a fair bit of effort into what he was about to do ,of course she had a bit of a spindly frame so it might not be so hard.

After a slight bit of exploration he'd found the perfect tool for the job. A woodsman's axe that ,while looking like it's seen a fair bit of use, seemed to gleam as if it were bought yesterday. it'd been a little bit away from where he'd taken the wood to make his creation blending in with the dusty home invisible without a second glance. Picking it up he found that while a little heavy for someone like himself, but still fairly wieldable. With a weapon acquired the next part he'd need was to simply proceed with the act he needed if he was to bring his sweet daughter back.
Going upstairs he was sure his target would still be in it's room. While she had seemed interested in everything she saw it was only when he was near. When she'd first been born by the transmutation circle she'd been meek until she saw him. She'd probably imprinted on him not unlike a duckling to it's mother seeing him as protection. Still with him gone she'd probably sit there and wait until he returned ,unless she went to look for him but she didn't seem to be one to take the initiative too much if anything at all.
Gently opening the door he was correct in his assessment when he found her looking around frantically for him. her eyes soon found him and she turned toward him ,and her fearful expression turned to that of comfort for but a second. He'd made no attempt to hide the axe in his hand after all he wasn't expecting much of a fight. Besides she was but a husk of a person she could not comprehend why he needed to do this. She only wanted to live as any animal has those self-preservation instincts that keep everything alive. Still the fearful expression on her face seemed that she had an idea of what he planned to do as he walked closer to her ambition fueled him as he raised his axe high with malicious intent. Then she did something that surprised him.
She spoke.
"Wait...no!" She screams as he gets closer ,but that doesn't last long as he stopped in his tracks. That wasn't right. From his memories he can't recall them speaking before. Granted he can't recall much from his past ,but he does feel that she shouldn't have done that. "I don't wanna die! I haven't even lived yet!" She continues desperation clear in the plant's voice. He was still in slight shock that she can even speak and somehow the fear on her face now seems more genuine than it did a moment ago. He now contemplated his actions a little more now ,as before he did this under the assumption that she would be more like an unresponsive animal. The axe falls from his hands a tiny bit as he starts to feel sick from his actions ,and he sees the slight relief from on her face.
That vanishes as he grasps the axe tightly and brings it high again. His mind is assaulted with memories of his little one from the adorable laughter to the games of tag they played. He shan't lose the last thing he has to live for even if he must forsake his humanity. the thoughts of 'For her!' go through his head almost like a religious mantra as he brings the axe down intent to end the life of his creation. It's eye's seemed to flash what little of its life it'd experienced.
In another universe he would be successful in this endeavor and he would feed his daughters soul. He would go on to make more homunculi to further his wealth and sacrifice for his ambition. He would regain his memories of what had led him to his point ,his humanity long since forgotten. From there it split a multitude of ways it could go. Burned in his home for his mistreatment of the homunculi , crushed by mountains of wealth he'd acquired , or losing the will to live after his daughter's body finally decays , and a variety of ways he'd meet his end.
But this was not in any of them.
The plant-like girl rolled forward just a little to his left past him. The axe crashed into floorboards splitting the wood and embedding itself deep in there. Faust's body kept the momentum ,and unable to stop himself his stomach collided with the wooden handle knocking the wind out of him. The blow brought him to his knees gasping for the air that had been robbed of him. The girl herself had run to the door intent to escape ,yet she stopped to instead look at Faust with slight amounts of pity. Faust himself looked up a bit to see the Homunculus staring at him.
He allowed the surprise to be evident on his face as he hadn't assumed she'd do anything to stop her murder. She'd seemed too meek and frightful to even attempt anything ,and she certainly couldn't fight him since he was twice her size. No she'd simply dodged his blow and she'd brought him to his knees and stared at HIM with pity. He'd document this down for later to always cut off escape and the ability to fight back.
Then the fury came.
She'd started running again when she saw the expression on his face and started running down the hall. With great force he'd later be impressed by he pulled the axe from its resting place and gave chase to his experiment. She'd been halfway down the stairs when she came into eyesight and he zeroed in on her. She might have had a head start but he was motivated by fury , determination , and parental care for his child. That didn't guarantee his success however as she'd been quite crafty when he'd almost caught up. She'd stopped momentarily to grab a painting and throw it at him before continuing to the door ,a destination that was within eyesight. Without thinking Faust brought the axe down on the painting that was in his way splitting it into two. His wrath went down a bit, made a note to try and repair the painting later ,and try to find the pieces.
For now he needed to end this.
He saw that she was at the door trying to unlock it. He had to think fast lest she escape and his work was all for naught. In a display of strength and accuracy he'd be impressed by if the situation wasn't so dire he threw the axe at the door. It spun horizontally before it found it's resting place in the door sticking itself deep into both the door and it's frame ,and almost taking off the soon to be victims hand. She jumped a bit and turned to see Faust just in front of her. Now in front of his creation he put his hands around her thin neck. His legs gave out soon bringing both of them to the ground. He overtopped her while she struggled against the confines of his hands.
It soon became apparent that strangulation wouldn't be able to perform the deed. She must not have needed that much air ,or maybe she had adrenaline and it was kicking in as her tree branch hands seemed almost to pry his off her neck. Taking a hand off her neck he instead grabbed the axe above his head ,and after a few tugs wretched the axe out of its place in the door. The panic in his victim grew ,but it was too late as he held the axe above his head intent to end this charade once and for all.
Then he saw it.
A piece of the picture he'd cut had landed near the door ,specifically right next to the head of his captive. In his furious state he'd missed it ,but as his head cleared the fog of wrath he grew more perceptive of the world. The picture half was that of a woman smiling, her right arm was attached to someone that was probably on the right half of the painting. She was wearing an old ,yet still nice red dress that looked more befitting of a noble. Or was it the complexion of her skin that made the dress stand out like that. No matter the reason to Faust she was more gorgeous than the angels above.
Was...
Was that his wife?
The painted women stared at Faust keeping him paralyzed so that he could not continue his work. For some reason the serene smile and those enchanting eyes seemed to pierce through him. Almost as if the painting itself was judging him for what he was attempting to do ,and for a split second the painting wasn't smiling anymore. He continued to stare at the painting ,and by this point he wasn't even strangling his creation. It was more like his hands now rested gently on her neck ,of course she was still struggling to escape him yet his weight was too great for her. Even the axe which he'd held like an expert executioner before now seemed to dangle lifelessly to his side.
It was strange the painting seemed to have some sort of power over him. He didn't want to end the life of his creation in front of his wife. Yes it was but a painting on the ground ,but it felt like more than that to Faust. As he continued to gaze at who he was sure was his dear wife his brain had started to throb in his skull. The sudden pain caused him to drop the axe finally so that he can grasp his head with one hand and barely hold down the homunculus with the other. Said homunculus now stared at him ,not that she could do much else, with the obvious fear as her captor had almost ended her life now seemed to be in pain which brought confusion.
Or at least that's the reason Faust told himself as to why she stopped struggling.
No matter the reason Faust could not kill his creation in front of the painting ,even the thought of it sent waves of pain through his skull ,but he could prevent her from leaving. He unwrapped his fingers from her throat and slowly lifted his hand from her ,all the while she made no movement as if she'd been a puppet with no strings. Her eyes seemed to soften as if she could tell he no longer meant her harm for whatever reason.
Still he got up and offered a hand to his creation ,and was only moderately surprised she had accepted. After all he was sure if the situation was reversed he’d try and get an advantage over his attacker be it a cheap hit , a small dash , or maim them in some way. Yet she tried none as he carried her upstairs to her room and almost seemed happy he gave her such contact.
Stepping inside he led her to the bed and sat down patting to the side of him. She let go of his hand and took to his other side as she sat down. The wooden construct seemed content as she started leaning into him with a small smile ,but she would not if she could see Faust's thoughts.
'Why can't I KILL you?' The thought tangled through his head. He had purpose and conviction so the task at hand should be as easy as ending that of a fly. Albeit a big and feminine wooden fly ,but the point still stood. He had already thought of multiple ways to end her. Chopping her in her sleep, locking the door and trying again , bringing her to the cliff he knew of (he'd not dwell why he knew of this location), and maybe finding a few termites to eat her inside out to cover a few. Yet when he tried to go through with this train of thought, his wife's face , her beautiful smiling face , flashed through his mind and he couldn't...
And for the life of him he didn't know why.
The homunculus shouldn’t have meant anything too special to him. Just a means to an end to have his daughter back ,so why was she still sitting next to him slowly falling asleep. Could it be he was growing attached to the homunculus in some morbid way? 
Faust didn’t know. He got up and left the room locking the door behind him when she finally fell asleep. Going back to his study he looked at his daughter and at the book on the desk. Taking a seat he put his hands on his head and squeezed a little bit on his temples. Why did that picture affect him so badly that he couldn’t kill his creation? 
He had little memories of his wife ,so maybe she had a more subconscious effect on him. If that were the case then why did she scarcely show up in his memories if she affected him so much? How could she have such a hold on him if he could remember so little about her?
She must have done something remarkable…
Sighing Faust found himself at an impasse. He couldn’t kill his creation because of the hold his wife had on him, and he couldn’t imagine a life without his daughter. Looking at his daughters sullen expression did not help his mood.
Maybe a night on the town would help his mood.