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maybe i'll find myself sitting on that distant shore

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Loid sighed as he stared at the box in his hands, dusty and worn from years hiding deep in closets and under beds.


As a spy, his whole job is built on secrets. Everyone has a secret side of them, after all. One that is concealed by fake smiles and meaningless pleasantries. True emotions are blocked out, never to be felt again. They get in the way of the mission.


Loid thinks of himself as the great spy Twilight first, and an actual living being second. He sometimes forgets he’s human and not just a spy, something only focused on completing the mission and keeping the citizens of the country safe. He forgets he actually feels and remembers things, especially ones that aren’t so nice. 


Loid gets an awful reminder each night, to which he promptly blocks it out as a response.


But blocking it out can only do so much. Loid had a way to deal with these things, but it’s… a bit strange. That’s why he’s in the predicament he’s in right now.


Twilight, WISE’s best agent, age regresses. Or, rather, used to.


He had started years ago. Every night Twilight woke up in a cold sweat, screaming. After getting no sleep for almost two weeks and passing out on the job, his handler told him he had to find a way to cope, because it was interfering with his work performance.


Twilight, though reluctant, then began the search for a suitable coping mechanism. He tried everything that the other agents did, like exercising, meditating, and journaling… but nothing worked. It wasn’t until he tried age regressing that he truly felt peaceful. No more stress, worry, or stomachaches… he could just simply be. It felt like a brain reset, in a way. He didn’t have nightmares as frequent anymore and always felt ready to concur the day.


So needless to say, it has helped. Considerably. But he always felt guilty afterwards, like he just committed a crime. He was Twilight! He didn’t need this. He was better than this.


And so Twilight put all his little gear in a box and buried it deep in his closet, never to see the light of day.


Until now.


It’s been two years since then. Combined with the stress of Operation Strix, Twilight is essentially at the breaking point. He is constantly anxious and stressed, and his stomach hurts all the time. 


It feels like if one more obstacle gets in the way, he will literally snap in half. He was close when Anya got that Tonitrus bolt.


Loid shook his head, trying to clear his thoughts. He slowly removed the lid on the box, and his breath hitched when he saw the contents.


It wasn’t much, just the bare necessities, like a worn teddy bear, a sippy cup, a bottle, a pacifier, and some toys. Loid immediately felt small just looking at these items, and he reached out a hand to grab the bear and the pacifier case.


Loid usually never felt so small that he needed to use the pacifier, but he’ll let himself indulge.


The spy popped the case open, revealing a standard blue pacifier. Loid remembers when he first bought the pacifier, and how much guilt and shame coursed through him. When he first put it in his mouth, he immediately spat it out. It took him weeks just to be able to keep the pacifier in his mouth.


Twilight expected the same thing to happen now. His arm slightly trembled as he brought the blue pacifier to his lips, but when he put it in his mouth… 


Nothing happened.


The pacifier rested quite comfortably in his mouth, and Loid felt… calm. The tension from his shoulders had dissipated completely.


After that, he decided to color, so he grabbed some crayons and a coloring book of jungle animals from the box before laying down stomach-first on the bed.


He flipped to a page with a lion and started coloring, grabbing whatever colors he liked and slapping them onto the page. It was probably the ugliest lion ever, but that didn’t matter.


He was having fun.


After a while, there was a knock on the door. “Loid-san?”


Loid’s head snapped up from the page, and he wasted no time shoving everything into the box and pushing it under the bed. He cleared his throat before saying, “Come in.”


Yor opened the door, an awkward expression on her face. “U-Um, dinner’s ready.”


“Dinner?” Loid asked. Just a second ago it had been only 2pm… He must have lost track of time.


Yor took his question of dinner as a jab at her cooking skills. “I-It’s edible! I know I’m not as good of a cook as you, but I still think I did a decent job!”


Loid chuckled, “I’m sure you did.”


The man made his way towards the door but stopped when Yor had a confused expression on her face.


“What’s wrong?” He asked.


Yor paused, biting her bottom lip. “U-Um… I don’t want to intrude but… why do you have a pacifier?”


“W-What?” Loid whipped his head behind him, eyes darting around the room. He froze in horror upon seeing that the pacifier case had not been put into the box and was open, revealing the blue pacifier inside for all to see.


Loid felt his face heat up with shame. He tried to come up with an excuse, but his mind was running blank.


“Hey! Hey! It’s okay. I think I understand.” Yor led him to sit down on the bed.


“Y-You do?” Loid sniffed.


“I used to regress, too. Back when I had to take care of Yuri all the time,” Yor explained with a slight blush of embarrassment on her cheeks. “I don’t need to anymore, but…”


Loid looked away with a frown. Yor watched him with a sad expression.


She wrapped her arm around his shoulders, pulling him close. She knew he loved physical affection. “Is this about spy stuff?”


Loid nodded silently. He doesn’t trust himself to speak. If he said anything he thinks he might burst out crying.


“I’m sorry, honey,” Yor said. “But I want you to know I’ll always be here for you. In life and in death, I’ll love you until the very end.”


Yor hugged Loid, which he eagerly reciprocated. The force of his hug sent both of them toppling over onto the bed.


Yor giggled, “Silly boy.”


“…Love you.”


Loid tightened his hug. Yor smiled.


“I love you, too.”