“You wanted to see me, sir?”
Opening the door slowly, World peered his head inside of the darkened room, furrowing his brows at not seeing anyone there. He slipped inside and closed the door behind him quietly, stepping forward to look around the bare space. This room had always made him nervous; his master had complete control of everything that was in this room. Shadow furniture could appear, chains would perhaps hang from the ceiling, or perhaps wisps of darkness in the shapes of flowers would appear. He was at the total disadvantage in here.
Though he knew he wouldn’t have anything to worry about, he was protecting his friend like he was told to do. They were getting along very well! Perhaps there was a reward in it for him for doing such a good job?
“Sir?” World called out again, lightly stepping back as the very light mist of darkness gently swept over his feet.
“Oh, just a sec!”
World’s ears perked as he heard the familiar high toned voice of his master, taking a step back as suddenly a double of himself appeared right before him. He blinked once, then twice, not exactly sure what he was looking at.
“Uwah, so sorry I’m late, friend. I was just wrapping up a dream with England. I guess I lost track of time, ehehe~” The other revolutionary America chuckled lightheartedly, combing a hand through his own hair before looking to his Arcana, noticing the look of confusion on his face. “Oh! I’m being America right now, that’s who you are based off of~ England has some issues with him when he was this age so I thought perhaps in this time era if I would surrender to him it’d make him happy! And it certainly did, mhm!”
“Mhm! America left him when he was this age and England didn’t take it very well. He’s a very good father, he is! So I got him to go back to him.” The Fauchereve grinned more, swaying his hips side to side as if very proud of being able to comfort England from the hardest part of his life. He sighed though, turning to the side to murmur to himself, “Aah, I miss my papa…”
“Sir. You wanted to see me?”
“Oh! Right right, stay right here, boo. I’ll get changed really fast.”
With a blink of an eye, the Fauchereve vanished into the dark depths of the floor below, and in his place the shadows rose up and formed into a couch. World hesitated for a moment before sitting in the surprisingly plush couch. America… he heard that name before. Temperance called him that a lot when the Master wasn’t around. If he was based off of this ‘America’ that would probably be why.
America. It had a nice ring to it. America. That’s a nice name. Why shouldn’t he be called America, Temperance calls him that, that should be good enough, right?
“Here I am, friend!!”
World scrambled to his feet as the Fauchereve appeared once more, this time having taken the form of his favorite person, Italy. The Fauchereve grinned, motioning him to sit down again which the other, almost confusingly, did.
“What did you want to see me about, sir? Did I do something wrong?”
The Fauchereve pursed his lips, glancing to the side in trying to think of the right phrase to say to that. He set his hands on his hips, giving a small sigh.
“Well, you didn’t do anything wrong, per say. But just… you and Temperance.”
World straightened up in his chair at this.
“What about Temperance? We’re getting along just fine; he doesn’t seem to suspect anything to be the matter. Though he does think my choice of clothing is a little odd but that’s about all. Should I get new attire?”
“No no no, friend. Your outfit is fine. It’s just… you and Temperance.”
“You’ve been getting along an awful lot, haven’t you?”
World tilted his head slightly, a bit confused by the question but he nodded. The Fauchereve nodded back before pivoting on his heel to start pacing a little in front of him.
“Does he call you World?”
World furrowed his brows lightly, leaning back into the chair as he suddenly felt that that question was a trap somehow. There was an answer he was expecting, and that answer wasn’t a good one.
“Sometimes?” The Fauchereve suddenly paused in his pacing to look to World; his iris’s shifting from their previously golden honey color to bright icy blue, slightly glowing as his curiosity was piqued. “What does he call you the rest of the time?”
“He… calls me America.”
“Does he now??” His tone went up a bit, almost as if cutting off an internal scream he was having just a moment ago. He cleared his throat before he turned to World fully, going up to him and leaning over to look the other straight in the eye. “I’m reassigning you, World. You will be looking after Chariot from now on.” He stood back up with a smile before he turned on his heel to head out. “That will be all! Head to the factory to re—“
The Fauchereve paused in his steps, hearing World stand back up once again, looking at the back of his head with confusion and a small degree of panic.
“Sir, there must be some kind of mistake!! Temperance and I have done nothing wrong! I have done nothing wrong, I have to stay with Temperance! Please reconsider!”
“…. Did I tell you you could get up, World?”
Without missing a beat, World felt two icy bands wrap around his wrists, making him look behind to see that it came out from the shadowy couch he was in earlier. With a simple flick of the demon’s wrist, he was yanked back into his seat, only this time having a band around his arms and his ankles too. He pulled on his sudden restraints worriedly, looking up to his master for some kind of explanation.
The Fauchereve stepped behind him to do an about face, calmly walking over to the other and leaning down to once more look at each other eye to eye. He bared his sharp teeth in a twisted smile, coyly tilting his head as if he feigning enough sympathy so the other could get his guard down enough to bite his face.
“Why do you want to stay with Temperance? What does it matter to you? He is only someone you are just to look over while I am away, why do you care?”
“Tell me, World. Do you feel for him? Do you care about him?”
World quivered for only a moment before clenching his fists, taking a deep breath to stabilize himself.
“He is my friend.”
At just the word ‘friend’, the Fauchereve just froze, and all traces of that Cheshire grin had vanished, and all he ended up doing for a few moments was stare at the arcana as if he had said something blasphemous.
“….heh….. heheheh….” The corners of the Fauchereve’s mouth slowly drew up, a small giggle bubbling from his throat before he leaned up so he was standing straight, unable to hold anything in anymore, “ehehEHEHE~~ EHEHEHEAHAHAHAHA!!! AHAHAHAHAHA!!!!!”
World stared up at his master worriedly, biting his lip as this was surely a side of him he hadn’t seen before. What the heck was happening??
“… Sir? A… are you all right?”
“AHAHAHA!! A FRIEND!! THAT’S SO RICH, AHAHAHA! I CAN’T- I CAN’T- BWUAHAHAHA!!”
“But, sir. He is. He is my friend. In fact, he’s pretty much my best friend.”
A dead silence suddenly filled the room, the Fauchereve being cut off mid-laugh by the statement. He closed his moth and tilted his head to look down to World, that maniacal grin having returned and somehow even gotten larger.
“That’s impossible. You don’t even exist. I made you. You do not exist. You cannot feel. You cannot care. You cannot have friends.”
World leaned back into the couch at this, fear starting to shine in his eyes, but with another deep breath of courage he leaned forward, raising his tone up to his master to try to protect the only thing he had.
“I do care though!! I feel all of the time and I do have friends! Temperance is my friend!”
“He is my only friend! Why should you be the only one to have them?! You have so many, why not just go back to that damn Fool you always stalk!! You love him, he loves you! You have so many friends!!”
“I told you to shut up.”
“You don’t care about Temperance as much as I do! He... he calls me America! When has he ever called you by your real name!?”
“I SAID SHUT YOUR FUCKING MOUTH!!”
World couldn’t get another word in edgewise as suddenly the dream demon in front of him hit him with his clawed hand, all his words vanishing as four deep claw marks were etched into the side of his face. His eyes widened as pain began to take over his mind, his mouth ajar in just shock and still reeling from the gashes on his face, not having to look or feel around to know that the marks had clawed through his cheek, feeling the blood rush into his mouth at an alarming rate.
“Ha…. .aaaahn…” he groaned, his whole body starting to quake from unbelievable stress it was being put through. Before he could think clearly though, the Fauchereve grabbed World by the chin and forced him to look up at him, to look into those glowing enraged eyes of his.
“I am the only one who can have friends. You are a pathetic nothing, a pathetic nothing who should be thanking me night and day to give you life into this world. And you repay me by trying to befriend one of my close friends? No. You do not have the fucking privilege to speak to me in such a matter. I am your master. My word is law. My word is your life.”
World stared up at him silently, unable to help the warm tears of agony and fear fall down his cheeks, mingling with the blood that seeped down his neck and began to stain his once pristine uniform.
“Do you understand me?”
Feverously, World nodded, not being help but just close his eyes and quietly sob to himself.
The Fauchereve pursed his lips for a moment before his hand went back and touched the gashes on his face, shadows beginning to seep out of his fingertips and heal up the cuts, reversing the flow of blood even on his uniform so he had looked as though nothing had happened.
“Don’t be such a crybaby. You’re okay, see?”
World cautiously opened his eyes before looking down to his uniform, seeing that indeed he had been cleaned up. And even though the marks were gone, he could still taste the blood, and feel the sting. Of course his observing didn’t last long, the Fauchereve yanking his chin back to look at him again.
“I don’t want you to see Temperance ever again. He is my friend. Not yours. And when you go to the factory, I do not want you to interact with Chariot, either. You are not to go into his room at all. I’ll keep you nearby should I need you. Understand?”
“…. Y…. Y-Yes, sir…”
“…. Yes… M-Master.”
The Fauchereve grinned, looking more than satisfied with himself at the work he had done. He pulled away from the broken Arcana and stepped back, smiling like an innocent child before he waved.
“That should be all then! Byebye, friend!”
World shook at the word, shakily breathing as he looked down. Before he could even think of standing, the floor gave way under him and he plummeted into the darkness, but not having enough energy to scream.
Before he knew it, he grunted, feeling his back hit against plush cold ground. He coughed at the impacted but rolled over to his hands and knees, the shadows beginning to reveal he was indeed in the snow. As more shadows fell away from his vision, he looked up to see where had landed, only to see the giant factory of Chariot looming over him, the smell of a fireplace lingering in the air and smoke arising from the chimneys, being mixed into the clouds that continued to blanket the land with falling snow.
This was his new home. No longer would he be greeted with a smiling face. No longer would he have a companion to be near him to help him through his worries, or to help them through their worries. No longer he had anyone to call a friend.
World trembled at the knowledge of his life as he knew it being over, wrapping his arms around himself tight and collapsing into the snow, quiet muffles soon turning to loud, heartbreaking sobs of loss and despair.
This isn’t fair… this isn’t fair…