Disclaimer: see Ch. 1.
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The beginning would feel like the end. I'd been warned. Trouble was, it didn't. I got nothing at all. Worried, I rummaged through my new host's head, but I couldn't find anything. The phenomenon was hardly unheard of: it had taken days to access parts of my host last time and I was told I'd had an easy time of it. There were stories... It still bothered me though. Last time it felt like there was an invisible wall blocking off the memories, now it was as though someone had moved them when I wasn't looking. I searched again and came up with nothing but a sense of satisfaction, which passed so fast I must have imagined it.
Resigned to the situation, I quickly checked through my own memories. A name floated through the darkness, my
name, and I felt a comforting familiarity. I am Night Song. And it's time to wake up.
I felt a stab of pain as I cracked an eye open, instinctively rolling over onto my side to block out the harsh light. Immediately I felt myself enveloped in a warm embrace, cradled gently against someone's chest.
"Wills... thought we lost you. Again." There was a weak chuckle. "Really going for the Sleeping Beauty award of the year there."
Where he couldn't see it my eyes narrowed in irritation. For pity's sake, it's a perfectly normal insertion. It's not like I was dying.
Then my expression changed from irritation to thought. No, it can't be. But he didn't use my name... No. Please no. Not on the first day.
But unusually amongst souls, with their bright and chipper outlook on life, I had always been prepared for the worst. It was one of the qualities that made me so good at my job.
Grimacing, I considered the situation as best I could. The place certainly smelled like a Healing facility, but everything else was all wrong. My head ached, there seemed to be something attached to my arm and instead of a cool but competent healer there was a guy holding me like he thought I'd vanish from his arms.Damn.
Perhaps I was wrong, but I should definitely take precautions. I shifted a bit, summoning up the pain from behind my eyes and groaning softly. "Do you think you can turn the light down?" I mumbled.
"Sure, right, sorry," said the voice, still full of relief. I was lowered gently and a few seconds later the lights dimmed to a soft glow. Now it was safe, I opened my eyes properly and looked around. The place certainly looked like a facility, but the equipment could be described as dated. If you wanted to be kind. Roaming around the room, I fixed on its other occupant. He was quite tall, with thick, dark hair and eyes the same colour. I tried to look into them, but the gloom that hid the silvery sheen of my eyes also hid his, if it was there. His most prominent feature was a very wide grin, which stayed in place as he sat down beside me and took my hand, but was betrayed by his desperate grip.
"So how are you feeling?" he asked.
"Um, really tired a-and kinda sore," I lied, trying to cover for my inexperience in this new body. I'd be crashing around for a bit. The stammer was worrying though.
"Just glad to have you back Wills." I fought back a hiss of annoyance at his repeated failure to give me a name. It sounded familiar, but I knew it wasn't quite right.
A voice floated up. It's Willow.Right.
I thought for a minute. Damn.