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A Second Chance At Life

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     Leanne slowly opens her eyes and glances around the strange unknown room. Scanning her surroundings with squinting eyes, she could see nothing but darkness. She took a trembling breathe and began to walk forward through nothingness, until after what seemed like an eternity, she reached a pair of large metal doors. Leanne studied the doors and nervously traced her fingers along the strange arcanic symbols engraved onto it. Suddenly, feeling an eerie presence behind her, she jerked her hand away and twirled around but found nothing. Every passing second her uneasiness grew stronger and more defined. She clutched her shirt above her chest and trembles, her ears perking up in full alert. A breeze suddenly flew by seemingly out of nowhere, and all the hairs on her body stood upright. A putrid stench creeped through the dark room. A smell that could only be described as various rotting aliments. Leanne covered her nose with her hands as a faint light began emanating from the cracks between the metal doors. Something or someone was calling her. Despite the growing fear and her mind screaming in disagreement, she placed both her palms flat on the door and slowly pushed forward.


     A flash of bright light erupted from the now opened doors. Taking a step forward, Leanne shielded her eyes. It took everything from her to keep herself from kneeling over and puking. The stench was fully distinguishable now, and whatever was releasing it was in that very room she just entered. Trying to hold her breathe as much as possible, Leanne slowly removed her hands from her face and opened her eyes. Blinking rapidly, her eyes adjusting to the bright lighting, what lied in the middle of the room was a sight that no one should ever witness. The mangled rotting corpses of Leanne's mother and sister lied sprawled across the bloodied floor. The bodies slowly attempted to stand but clumsily tumbled back down. The sound of bones breaking and the squishing of miscellaneous pieced of meat falling off echoed through the room. The corpses stared at Leanne with black eye sockets, their faces slowly melting away. Leanne let out a horrified scream as she stumbled backwards out of the room.


     Tripping she fell onto her behind in the previously black room. Feeling wetness underneath her, she glanced down at the floor now covered in blood. She screamed again and stood up panicking. She frantically scanned the room, everything was now drenched in blood. The floor, walls and ceiling dripped with dark blood and various meats of different sizes. The blood pooling at her feet slowly began to rise at her ankles and Leanne's fear rose to it's peak. She began to bang on the walls screaming for help. Tears ran down her face as her screams died down to choked whimpers. She struggled to move as the blood and guts reached her stomach. She slowly began to lose hope of ever escaping this hell hole. Fated to die and slowly rot like her mother and sister.


     What was this place and how did she get here? As her head slowly got submerged in the rising blood, Leanne reached her right hand up towards the ceiling. A final, futile act, praying and hoping someone would save her from this horrible death...but no one came...and soon...she disappeared under the flood of blood...and darkness consumed her mind...


-A Fated Meeting-


     Leanne's eyes flutter open, a soft groan escapes her lips. She blinks a few times to clear her blurry eyesight. She glanced around the unfamiliar room confused. The walls were soft beige in color with red borders. An Immortal Flames flag hung loosely under  a wall mounted clock. The time read 18:32. Leanne pursed her lips, her thoughts began to race.

Where was she? How did she get here? How long was she sleep? Who was she...?

Leanne's ears perked up at her sudden panic.

She doesn't remember anything. Family? Friends? Would anyone even be looking for her? Her eyes began to well up with tears as the door to the room opened and a tall blonde Hyur walked in with a plate of food. He slowly closed the door behind him and turned towards Leanne, who's eyes had gone wide in fear, and smiled softly.

"I see you are awake. How are you feeling, miss?" He placed the plate on a night stand near the bed and sat on a chair in front of her. Leanne squirmed and stuttered, speaking softly. 

"I-I'm fine...sore I guess..." She glanced around the room anxiously avoiding the stranger's kind gaze.

"W-where am I...?" The man continued to smile.

"You are in my dorm room in Ul'dah Garden. You're in Ul'dah right now." Leanne frowned and laced her fingers together nervously. 

She was in a man's room. A stranger's room no less. She's not suppose to be here. How did this happen? Leanne opened her mouth and paused before speaking up. 

"H-how...did I get here...?" The man tilted his head taking notice of her anxiety and nervousness.

"I found you passed out near the gate of the Sultana not far from here.You were beat pretty bad and seemed delusional so I brought you here and bandaged you up." He paused, giving her a concerned look. "You've been asleep for three days since I found you. Are you...sure you're alright, miss? May I ask your name?"

Leanne stiffened and bit her bottom lip. She searched her thoughts as much as she could. Praying, hoping to find a name...anything really.

The Hyur noticed her internal struggle and lifted up his hand in protest.

"No, it's alright if you don't remember..." He leaned forward to place a hand on her shoulder but Leanne spoke up before he could move. 

"...Leanne...Starlight..." She timidly glanced up at the man for the first time. He looked a little older than her. He had gentle blueish green eyes, slick blonde hair which was combed back, and also had a hint of facial hair.

The Hyur noticed she was examining him and smiled gently, making Leanne shift her gaze downward embarrassed, her cheeks turning pink.

He leaned towards the nightstand and grabbed the plate before handing it to Leanne. "I figured you might be hungry...it's not much but I bought you a loaf of rolanberry bread." Leanne cautiously took the plate and stared at the bread. It was golden in color with a hint of pink on the inside. The smell was intoxicating. The man chuckled and spoke up teasingly. 

"Don't worry. I didn't poison it." Leanne gave a small smile and nibbled at the bread, her ears perking up happily.

"It's...good. Really good..." The man just chuckled.

"Well that's good to hear! I didn't know what you might like so I just asked the Culinarian at the cafeteria what was most popular." Leanne nodded and finished her bread, stifling a yawn. She glanced back at the Hyur and tilted her head to the side.

"You...saved me...why?" He shifted in his seat, a look of surprise clear on his face. 

"Well...you looked like you needed help. I couldn't just leave you in the street..." Leanne frowned and felt ashamed for asking. 

"S-sorry...what's...your name...?" He smiled at her.

"Caen. Caen Macleod." Leanne's brows furrowed as she nodded.

"Is something wrong?" Caen looked concerned once more and leaned forward. Leanne shuffled back slightly and shook her head.

"I-I'm okay...just tired...and my head hurts..." She lowered her gaze, her ears flattening. Caen's lips formed a straight line as he leaned back in his chair.

"You should get some more sleep then...I'll be back to check up on you later." 

Leanne nodded and lied down on the bed pulling the blankets up to her nose. She slowly closed her eyes and began to drift as Caen slowly stood up and whispered under his breathe.

"Don't worry...I'll keep you safe..." The last thing she heard was the door closing softly behind him before she was pulled back into the darkness.


-Do you Want to Remember?-


     Leanne woke up startled; eyes wide, cold sweat running down the sides of her face, intense trembling. She quickly shoo her head and covered her face with her hands, her mind foggy. There was a quick knock before the door slowly opened. Leanne's head snapped up towards the door as Caen walked in smiling. He frowned as he saw her terrified expression. He took a step forward.

"Leanne? Is everything alright?" Leanne lowered her gaze, a slight blush forming on her cheeks.

"O-oh, yes...just a bad dream is all..." Caen smiled looking relived.

"I see...do you...want to go for a walk?" Leanne glanced up and nodded. She slowly crawled out of the bed and Caen led her out of his dorm room, through the halls of Ul'dah Garden and out the main entrance leading to Emerald Avenue.


     As they wandered through the busy streets, Leanne nervously glanced at all the people talking and laughing. Her ears twitched at every stranger who rushed passed them, her eyes lowering to the ground. Caen noticed her nervous behavior and gently grabbed her arm, pulling her towards the Quicksand.

"E-eh?! W-where are we going?" Leanne looked around the half empty tavern nervously. Caen smiled at her and motioned to a chair for her to sit.

"Don't worry, I figured this place would be empty at this time. Are you hungry?" Leanne slowly nodded and let her ears droop a little, calming down.

"Do...they have grilled salmon here?" Caen smiled and nodded. 

"Yes they do. They have varied menu. That's why I enjoy coming here." He waved to a waitress and ordered the food. The waitress smiled and bowed, coming back half an hour later with their order. Leanne smiled and sniffed the delicious aroma of her salmon and began to eat it slowly, savoring every bite. Caen smiled at her and followed suit taking a few bites of his marmot steak.


     After they had finished eating Caen and Leanne slowly made their way to the Garden. Half way to their destination, Caen suddenly stopped walking. Leanne turned around and tilted her head to the side confused. 

"Before we head back, there's something I wanted to give you." Caen paused for a moment. Leanne's brows furrowed as he pulled out a pouch from his pocket.

"There's a months wages in here, to help you get started when you're feeling better." She frowned and waved her hand in front of her face. 

"I-I cannot accept this...you've already done so much for me..." Caen sighed softly and placed the pouch in her hand. 

"Just take it. It's a gift. You need it." Leanne puffed out her cheeks and pouted.

"F-fine...but...I'll pay you back! ...sometime..." Caen smiled at her and nodded, taking a step forward before stopping again.

"Oh, that's right."

"Hm?" Leanne tilted her head to the side again as Caen's expression turned serious.

"I noticed you...fight...in your sleep. I may be able to cure your trauma through meditation..." Leanne's eyes widened.

"Meditation...? I'd get my memories back?" Caen's expression didn't change.

"I can't say for certain...but that could be a possibility...take your time and think about it. There's no rush." Leanne looked down at the ground, her thoughts eating at each other.

     Did she want to remember? There must be a reason she lost her memories. What would she learn? Did she even have the courage to find out? She was nervous and so very afraid, but even so, she knew she had to try, even if it didn't work.


Leanne took a deep breathe, looking Caen square in the eyes and nodded. 

"I will try." Caen's expression softened as he walked forward.

"Very well. We will try tomorrow."

They continued back towards the Garden, the sun slowly setting in the background, dyeing the sky pink.



-Out Of The Darkness And In Again-


     Caen and Leanne sat cross-legged in the middle of his dorm room. Caen's expression turned serious as he began speaking to her cautiously.

"Leanne...are you ready?" Leanne nodded at him and he continued.

"Very well. Now, I want you to take a deep breathe and close your eyes." Leanne nodded once more and did as she was told. Taking a deep breathe, she closed her eyes, her body trembling with uncertainty. Caen spoke up softly.

"Calm down...nothings going to happen to you." Leanne's lips twitched and her body slowly began to relax.

"Good. Now what do you see?" Leanne's brows furrowed. 

"Nothing...just darkness..." Caen nodded.

"Look deeper...tell me what you see..." Her eyes rolled under her eyelids, her ears twitching.

     A small log cabin in the forest appeared before Leanne.


"There's...a cabin...in the forest...it looks familiar..." Caen nodded and encouraged her.

"Go inside..."

     Leanne placed her hand on the door knob but suddenly, it vanished and she was in a darkened room.


"W-what? Where...where am I?" Leanne's fear started rising.

     Leanne frantically glanced around the dark room. She tried to lift herself off the ground but she couldn't move. Chains restrained her movements.


"C-Caen...I....I can't move...!" Caen edged closer, his voice soft with a hint of concern.

"Calm down, Leanne...your here beside me...nothing is going to happen..."

     The sound of slowly approaching footsteps is heard.


"W-who's there?! W-what are you doing?!" Leanne's body stiffened.

"Leanne...no one's there...open your eyes...that's enough."

     The masked man leaned over Leanne grinning, holding a syringe.


Leanne gasped and whimpered loudly, her body jerking a few times.

"I-it hurts! Let me go! P-please!" Caen reached forward and grabbed her hand squeezing it tightly.

"Leanne, listen to me. He's not real. What ever you are seeing is only a memory..." Leanne moaned in pain, her body going into convulsions. Choking out a series of whimpers, Leanne gripped Caen's hand tightly.

"Leanne, you have to fight back. Over come your fears that are suppressing you..." Tears were running down her cheeks, she whispered weakly. 

"I-I can't...I can't..." Caen pressed her further.

"You can, Leanne, and you will. Just push forward. Nothing is real. You have nothing to fear. I'm right here..." Leanne groaned in pain.

     Leanne struggled underneath the man as he dragged a blade deeply across her skin in multiple areas. Blood dripped all over as it slowly began to pool under her. Pain was coursing through her entire body as she struggled to get away. She glanced to the side and noticed a spear leaning nearby. If she could just reach it...she whimpered loudly and reached her hand towards the spear, her fingers brushing against it. The masked man then plunged the blade into her arm. Leanne let out a scream, her fingers curling around the spear and thrusted it towards the man, impaling his face.


Leanne's eyes shot open. Her frantic whimpers filled the tense atmosphere of the dorm room. Her body quaked in fear. She hugged herself, her breathing ragged. Caen reached his hands towards her, to console her. Leanne flinched, her eyes wide. 

"D-don't tough me!" She screeched, fear overflowing from her words. She continued to tremble and mumbled an apology under her breathe. Caen pulled his hands away and nodded. 

"I understand. Sorry. Do you...wish to be alone?" Leanne nodded weakly and Caen stood up and slowly made his way to the door.

"I'll come back to check up on you later...you should rest, Leanne..." He then left the room, closing the door behind him. Leanne just curled up on the floor and weeped loudly, mourning her life.


     Was this a mistake? Was getting her memories back worth all this fear and pain? Would it have been better if she just never remembered? Living her life in blissful ignorance...never knowing the tragic, brutal murder of her only family and the innocent life that was forcefully ripped from her...

How would she ever be able to heal from these wounds that keep opening up and bleeding out?


     May the Twelve forgive the sins of the innocent...and may the sinners burn for all eternity never to find repentance...


[align=center]They          will          all          pay[/align]

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