Crona stared at the wall in the center of the room. He had a pillow by his side as he stood with his knees pulled up to his chest and his arms wrapped around his legs. Crona tilted his head at the happy scene with the purple mountains. On the other side of the room, the scene of an island and a shipwreck was there. Crona nuzzled his face into his knees. He wasn't good at art. He wasn't going to fit in and they'd hate him. It was pointless.
The handle to the kids room rattled and turned. Kimen pushed the door open and stepped inside, one arm clutching a pile of fabric. "Miranda, I couldn't find any actual curtains I could afford but I did find some pretty cheap fabric and thread and I think we can..." Kimen's voice trailed off as he realized the person inside wasn't Miranda, but someone else entirely, "Oh! I'm sorry, you're not Miranda. You must be Crona!" Kimen put on a cheery, friendly smile. He was told there would be another kid sharing this room with them. "Welcome to the kids room! My name is Kimen."
Crona turned up his head to Kimen and forced an awkward smile. "...Hi," they said, very quietly. Kimen already knew their name. Great. They must know everything else. That's just how everything was. Now they'd never trust him. "...you umm... don't... need to apologize," they said, "I can leave if you want."
"Why would I want you to leave?" Kimen tilted her head to the side as she placed the fabric and sewing supplies on Miranda's bed, then excitedly made her way to the spot where Crona was sitting and sat down as well, crossing her legs. "So what do you think of the paintings? This room was really bland and boring so we decided to personalize it. We should find some paint for you too later so you can paint something as well!"
Crona was caught off guard by Kimen's reaction. "Oh, I..." he looked back at the walls and smiled kindly. "They're nice," he said. He shook his head as he looked back down at the floor. "I'm fine. I don't need to draw anything. You don't need to do that for me."
"Well, if you don't want to its fine, I guess." Kimen rubbed the back of his head, smile softening a little. "The room belongs to the three of us now, so make yourself at home, okay? We'll work together to make this the best room in the building!" The child looked around, suddenly realizing something, "Oh, you don't have a bed yet. That won't do. We need to fix that!"
Crona raised an eyebrow, and then shook his head. "Okay," he said. "If... if you think I need one." Crona tried to think of something to say, not exactly used to talking to people, and couldn't figure out exactly what to say. "I like your painting," he said.
"Where else would you sleep, Chrona? Its not fair if we have beds and you don't." Kimen turned her attention to the painting on the wall, "Thank you! I kind of feel as though something is missing in it. I'm not sure what."
"That's because it probably is. Crona is dumb and doesn't understand art." A black liquid with a purple glow burst from Crona's back to form a cartoonish monster sprouting from Crona and resting its hands on Crona's head. Crona sighed. "Ragnarok... you're being mean..." "Whatever." The black doll-like monster turned its head towards you. "Say kid, got anything to eat around here?"
Kimen yelped in surprise as some sort of monster suddenly appeared at the other child's back, and he fell backwards onto her hands looking from Crona to the it. The other child didn't seem concerned by it though, so it didn't take long before Kimen decided that he should not be concerned either. "Oh... I didn't realize someone else was here." Kimen admitted, sitting up again. The creature not receiving the same smiling greeting as Crona had. "Crona doesn't seem dumb to me. And no, I don't have any food."
"Hey, shut up, what do you know? Crona's pathetic." Ragnarok looked down at Crona and punched him in the noggin, causing Crona to barely react, only rubbing his head a bit. "Really, Ragnarok, there's people around and I don't know how to deal with you picking on me when there's people around." Ragnarok didn't seem phased and turned back to you. "See what I have to put up with? He's a wimp."
By the time Ragnarok punched Crona in the head, Kimen's cheerful demeanor had dropped completely, and the child was frowning at the monster. "No, I don't see at all. Crona is a really nice pleasant person who seems to be worth talking to, unlike the parasite on his back." Kimen took her gaze away from the thing, then looked at Crona with a worried expression, "Are you okay, Crona?"
"Yeah..." Crona said timidly. "It doesn't hurt that much anymore..." "Is that so!?" Ragnorak leaned over and twisted Crona's nose. When Crona tried to pry him off, Ragnarok whacked Crona on the head again, sounding like two incredibly hard surfaces just collided. "OW! Stop it!" Crona shouted. Ragnarok held back for a moment and let out a high pitched snarl. "Tere! Let me know when something IMPORTANT happens." Crona rubbed his head and looked apologetically at you. "Sorry... you probably don't like me anymore."
"Of course I like you still, Crona." Kimen's shoulders sagged, but he was relieved that the thing was gone and had decided to leave the kid alone. "Can I get you some ice or..." Cautiously, he reached out to the spot on Crona's head where Ragnorak hit them, "That... that sounded and looked like it really hurt."
"It's fine, really." Crona turned to see that you was reaching to touch them, and Crona's eyes immediately widened and he backed away. "No, no it's fine! I umm... no, you don't need to worry." Crona looked away for a moment before turned their eyes back at you. "That umm... that was Ragnarok. He's my weapon."
Upon seeing Crona's fear, Kimen pulled her hand away. "I'm sorry." She still looked worried though, despite Crona's assurance that she didn't need to. "He seems like more bully than weapon." And the child couldn't imagine how he fought with something like that. It seemed like it was aiming to hurt Crona more than anyone else.
Crona looked away. "Yeah. I guess..." He tried to think of how he'd explain it, and he really didn't want to ask Ragnarok to demonstrate now that he had gone away so upset. The kid shook his head. He didn't really know what to say to Kimen to get them to stop worrying. "...What umm... what do you do around here?" he asked, in a desperate attempt to start a conversation.
Kimen wondered if there was something he could do about that weapon, if there were any spell existing or not yet existing that could be made to help Crona deal with something like that. Unfortunately, the child could not think of anything, and that just seemed to make Kimen sadder. "Um... Well..." The child rubbed the back of his head, "I'm only here because Mr. Edmund is helping me with my magic studies. I've been having a bit of trouble with them lately and he has really been helping me." Kimen stood up and made his way over to the bunk beds, climbing up to the second bunk where a bag was shoved into the corner. "Other than that, I just do whatever seems fun I guess."
Crona's eyes followed you as they made their way up the bed. Crona tilted their head. "Like what?" he asked, curious about what you meant.
Kimen sat on the bed, feet dangling as she rummaged through the bag, a small smile returning to her face as she spied something within. It wasn't what she was looking for but she excitedly pulled it out regardless, setting it aside and resuming her search, "Well, I like to read sometimes. And if the weather is good flying a kite is also pretty fun. I have a secret base in the city at the foot of the mountains with all sorts of board games and puzzles--Maybe you can come visit it some time!" Kimen exclaimed, withdrawing a small box of colorful chalk and holding it triumphantly. She collected the thing she set aside, and hopped off of the bed, quickly returning to the spot Crona was sitting, "What do you like to do?"
"Uhhh..." Crona rubbed their neck as you asked the question. They never really thought about it. It had always been one thing or another, and he had to be told what to do. 'I don't know what I like to do, actually," Crona said timidly. "I guess I'm not really good at anything."
"I am sure that isn't true. You probably just haven't found that thing you are great at yet." Kimen put the chalk down then turned his attention to the slim brightly colored package, unwrapping it to reveal a bar of chocolate. He divided it up then held one of the pieces out to Crona, smiling gently.
Crona took the piece of chocolate with a weak smile. "Yeah, I guess you're right." Suddenly, with a flash of purple and black, Ragnarok appeared and with a mouth almost too large for his head chomped down on the chocolate, Crona pulling their hand away just in time to avoid being bitten. The creature licked his entire face with his oversized tongue and just as quickly as it appeared the mouth of the creature was gone, once again being perfectly spherical except for the eyes and white X.
"’anks kid," Ragnarok said to you. "Maybe you're not so dumb after all." With that, Ragnarok rested once more on Crona's head, seemingly content. Crona sighed, but didn't seem too upset other than that. "Thanks you," Crona said, despite not having any of the candy. Crona gave another weak smile to you.
Kimen frowned, then picked up another piece. "You seem to like food, don't you Ragnarok? I have a piece meant for Crona here. If you let Crona have it, there might be more coming your way." Kimen said, wondering if the little monster sitting there would agree to such a thing. With his free hand, Kmen opened the box of chalk and poured the various colors out onto the floor for easier selection.
Crona looked up at Ragnarok with a curious look, wondering what he'd say. "Yeah sure, whatever." Crona looked back at Kimen. "He's hungry and mean, but, he can't live without me." "Shut up." Crona immediately looked back down. "Oh, sorry," they said quietly, rubbing their arm.
Kimen broke off a slightly larger piece from the bar and handed it to Crona. "My secret base is actually right by a candy shop. So I usually end up getting a lot of candy." Kimen picked up the pink chalk and started drawing something over the artwork on the wall. "I'll probably bring a bunch more up here with me next time."
Crona took the chocolate and happily took a bite, giving off a slightly stronger smiler than before. Ragnarok was audibly complaining. "No fair! His piece is bigger than mine!" Crona chuckled softly and spoke in an equally hushed tone. "You did take your piece without asking." Ragnarok huffed and glared at Kimen with distain as Crona finished off the candy.
Kimen smiled, and broke off another small piece. "Crona is right. Crona deserves a larger piece because you stole his without asking him. But that’s alright, right? You are also getting a second piece, because you held up your end of the deal." Kimen offered the piece of chocolate, smiling, "And who knows, I might have something special for you in the next candy stash if you act a little more nicely towards Crona."
Crona took the chocolate and held it out for Ragnarok, who took it down in one chomp again. Ragnarok gave off a smile. "Say thank you," Crona said hopefully. Ragnarok whacked Crona on the head hard again. "What did I tell you about telling me what to do?!" Crona sighed. "Sorry."
Kimen clenched her teeth as she watched Ragnarok once again hurt Crona. The attempt to pacify the thing, at least a little bit was ignored. Kimen selected a bite of chocolate for herself and ate it, all the while staring coldly at the thing on Crona's back, "You really are just a bully, aren't you? Can't you leave him alone?" She said bitterly, selecting the next piece of chalk. It was hard to figure out the best thing to do about him. "Is Crona really that much of a threat or something to you that you feel the need to hit him so much?"
Crona shakes his head at Kimen with a worried look, sending a message along the lines of 'stop trying.' "Hey!" Ragnarok shouted at Kimen, "Who asked you! Whack him Crona!" Crona shook his head. "Ragnarok, no. We're good guys now." "Just walk over so I can hit him!" Crona rubbed his arm and spoke to Kimen kindly. "I'm really sorry. He's always like this."
"So thats it..." As far as Kimen was concerned, that was a resounding confirmation that he was right. But seeing Crona's expression then, the child decided not to say anything else, realizing that it might come back on Crona later. "You don't need to apologize, Crona." Kimen told the other child, expression softening a little, "Its really amazing that you can put up with something like that." He rubbed the back of his neck. He had been around some obnoxious and rotten sorts, but none of them seemed to compare to someone like Ragnarok. They were not nearly as bad. And at the very least Kimen could get away from them from time to time. Ragnarok appeared to be attached. "I have to admit kind of envy your patience. I wish he would harass you less though." The child looked down at his chalk then back up to Crona, and in an effort to lighten the conversation he asked "Are you sure you don't want to draw something?"
"Ragnarok has been there for a really long time. You get used to him, I guess." "He couldn't survive without me!" Crona sighed, nodding silently, rubbing his arm and looking at thr floor. He turned back to you. "What would I draw?"
Kimen's expression brightened a little as she quickly returned to her work. "Draw whatever you like! I am adding Crona to my drawing here!" he said, filling in the shape that made up the child's clothes.
Crona slowly reached for a piece of chalk and moved to a wall. There, he began moving the chalk very crudely, and the shape he made could be identified as a rabbit. It didn't take up much of the wall, being close to actual size, roughly a foot across. Crona backed up and sat down. "There." he said. Ragnarok was staring at the bunny, awestruck.
Kimen worked while Crona did until the child announced that he was finished. Excited to see what he drew, the child leaned over to see Crona's work, smiling at it, "Is that a bunny?" Kimen asked.
"It's the little one," Crona responded. They spoke very softly, almost regretful. "It reminded me a lot of myself. I miss them." Crona turned their head away from the drawing. "It's okay though. I guess they didn't understand anyway."
Kimen frowned, listening to Crona it sounded like it was some sort of pet the child once had. "What happened to him?" The child was almost afraid to ask, worrying about stirring up some sad memories, "Did he have a name?"
"Lady Medusa made me defeat him." Crona replied. Ragnorak chimed in, "Yeah. Wouldn't let Crona or me go anywhere until that thing was dead. Little punk deserved it." Crona nodded reluctantly. "I guess maybe it was for the best."
That was really sad. Especially since Crona saw himself in the creature in a lot of ways. Kimen wanted to give him a hug, but he was afraid that Crona would shrink away if he tried. Instead the child hung his head silently for a long time. Then the silence was broken with a quiet sniffle and Kimen said "Why don't we put your bunny in a happy place then." he picked up the yellow chalk and leaned over to the drawing of the rabbit and started adding in below it bright yellow flowers, then with a couple lines of green with the green chalk, creating some bright green grass for it to chew. All the while he was careful not to ruin Crona's original artwork. When he was done, Kimen turned to Crona, head sinking down into his shoulders a little, wondering if this met the child's approval.
Crona smiled at what Kimen drew. "I like that. I think that the Little One would have liked it." Ragnarok looked between Kimen and Crona, and disappeared once more. "Did you ever have anyone like the Little One?"
Kimen shook her head, "No, not really. Not like your Little One." Kimen put the chalk down, "I always liked animals though... Except dogs. Dogs are really scary." At the mention of them the child shuddered.
Crona nodded. "Oh. Okay." He looked back at the drawing. "I wonder what having an animal would be like. One that you didn't have to fight. It sounds... nice."
"I've never really had a pet. My brothers were usually more than enough of a handful sometimes" Kimen said with a smile, resuming work on adding more to their own art. "Oh!" His face suddenly lit up as he had an idea, "Maybe we can get a pet of some sort! Do you think they'll let us?"
"That sounds like fun!" Crona perked up. He turned around excitedly, but then backed down. "But I wouldn't know who to ask... and Sir Edmund seems really busy."
This was true. Kimen hadn't had the chance to get another lesson from him since he moved. "Yeah, I have been meaning to see him to but I haven't had a chance. If I do I will ask though. Until then, maybe we'll figure out if he has someone else in charge of the smaller stuff."
Crona looked back at Kimen. "...Want to go and find someone...?" he asked. "I'm sure Elie is somewhere. He doesn't do much, from what I can tell."
"Elie?" That name didn't sound familiar to him, but then again Kimen hadn't had a chance to talk to many of the people who were staying here yet. Kimen stood up, offering a chalk dust covered hand to Crona, "Sure, lets go find him!"
Kimen took hold of Crona's hand and helped the kid up onto their feet. "Of course its okay! You need a comfortable place to have a nice place to sleep tonight. I am sure we'll be able to find you one."
Crona nodded, looked down, and immediately retracted their hand back towards themselves. After realized how strange they were acting, Crona slowly calmed down. "Alright... you lead the way then."