I had reluctantly left the warmth of the bed when my stomach had started growling insistently. While I was making something to eat for me and Fate, the one I think is Dash appeared beside me, pushing himself up on the counter. I was slowly learning their names but the younger ones never kept still enough for me to really see which one was being pointed out to me. He was giving me these big, wide innocent eyes.
“Hey,” I said, wondering what he wanted with me.”
He kept up the big eyes. "How old are you?"
"Three hundred and... something." I don’t really remember which year I was born in. It wasn’t something anyone cared about back then.
"Wow, you're old."
"What about you?"
He thought for a moment before replying. "Around a thousand, I think."
"And you think I'm old?" I laughed. There weren’t many people that were capable of making me feel young.
"But I'm fourteen."
"You've seen a lot more than me, though. Don't you ever get sick of it?" I wondered aloud, curious to know how he hadn’t ended up so jaded.
He shook his head. “Just have to find the right people, I guess."
I gave him a small smile. "S'pose I haven't found them then."
He shrugged. "Been in any wars?"
"A couple," I muttered, watching his head tilt to the side, just like a dog. It was strange noticing how many dog like traits others had. Made you wonder which ones you had.
"Which ones?" he asked. I glanced up as Line walked in to get himself a drink.
"World wars one and two. Why?"
He gave another shrug. "Just wonderin'."
"I can't picture you as a soldier," Line commented.
"I was a conscript," I explained. It didn’t really mean shit, given that I ended up being a sergeant, but it still hadn’t really been my decision to go join the war.
"What's that mean?" Dash asked, his head still tilted over to one side.
"It means I had no choice," I told him, wondering how he didn’t know that.
"Oh," he said.
"Not like me, then. Well, in a way," Line said.
"How come?" I questioned, wondering who in their right mind would volunteer to sign up.
"I volunteered before they got a chance to order me to go,” he chuckled.
"Wars are pointless,” I mumbled, spreading butter over my toast.
"They passed the time, though." That’s a poor excuse to go to war. I didn’t say it out loud, though.
"I'd rather not have been involved at all." I could almost feel the ground shaking with the noise the artillery made. I focussed on my toast, trying to keep out the disorienting memories or stumbling around, looking for somewhere to hide from the bullets.
"Like I said, it passed the time." I didn’t say anything. Focussing didn’t do much. If I wasn’t careful, I’d probably end up with shell shock again, and I wasn’t even fighting. I hadn’t fought in any wars since the end of the Second World War, but it felt like it was so recent. "Sorry, I shouldn't have brought it up,” Line’s voice said somewhere in the distance.
"It's fine. I just never really dealt with it very well,” I muttered, nibbling on my toast.
"Makes two of us. Or maybe I'm just a sore loser."
"Ich bin Deutscher,” he said in a perfect German accent.
"Ah." He flashed me a small smile. I wasn’t too sure how to react to it, in all honesty. "Well, if it makes you feel any better, being on the winning side was never that great either."
"I was like some kind of a secret weapon. Every full moon, they walked me out into No Man's land, stripped me of my uniform and waited for me to transform, making sure I headed in the direction of the German trenches." I suppressed a shudder. I was the only one that never died, never had to go to the nurses for anything. I’d return full of bullets and pull them all out in the morning.
"I'm kind of glad I kept quiet about the werewolf thing, then."
"I didn't really have a choice. I was sent out over the top in the evening one night, and ended up transforming in front of everyone. What a choice, eh? Transform in front of everyone and have them discover me, or be shot as a traitor and not die and be discovered anyway." Line patted me on the back. "I apologise if I ever killed any of your friends."
"It's okay,” he told me. I didn’t think it was at all, but I kept quiet. “The way I see it, if they died it was meant to happen. I've gotten over it."
I threw my toast in the bin. It’d gotten cold anyway. "I've lost my appetite."
"Not your fault," I muttered.
"Like I said, I shouldn't have brought it up."
I tried to shrug it off, "I try to remember the good bits. Y'know, like football on Christmas or reading out private's love letters in a stupid voice. Stuff like that." He smiled. "Some of them really were terrible,” I laughed a little.
"I can imagine." We smiled at each other, both of us apparently remembering all the shit that had happened. For a moment, I leant on the counter, but I didn’t feel like my legs were going to be holding me up much longer. I sort of excused myself and went outside, sitting down on the backdoor step to smoke a cigarette or five.