Kayel adjusted his hood as he walked down the hallway. In one hand was a visitors’ pass, in the other was a bag of treats. He’d spent a good hour at the nearest convenience store picking out what would be best, what was low in calories and in sugar. After all that, he ended up spending about twenty Evra on two packs of sugar-free marshmallows, a box of low-sugar chocolate chip cookies, some ‘everything-free’ golden syrup, two bottles of diet fake alcohol, a lighter and an over-sized candle.
The room was up ahead. There was a medic standing in the doorway, so Kayel decided to hang back. He didn’t know if any of the medics around here recognised him. He didn’t want them to though, especially since he was using a fake name to get in.
That wasn’t exactly correct. Kayel may have been a legally dead Rethan, but he was also a legally alive Thanatian. With a Thanatian ID band and everything, all from Vriskera, the Thanatian territories on Portalia. And technically his name was Unlahney now, rather than Kayel Theanon.
Once the medic had moved on, Kayel approached the doorway and knocked four times. The door flew open, revealing a very excited Veeyel. Today, he was wearing his mechanical leg braces and could walk normally. Mostly. He was rather wobbly, but at least he was on his feet.
“Of course I did.”
Veeyel grinned as he wobbled over to his cupboard and pulled out something chequered. It was a large blanket, which he laid out on the floor. Kayel let himself in and closed the door behind him. He glanced around the room. Veeyel also appeared to have a basket full of bags of… stuff.
“Come in! Please, sit down!” Veeyel was still grinning, but his smile dropped as he saw Kayel’s bag of treats. “Oh. Um.”
“No!” Veeyel tried to smile. “It’s just… I’m on a liquid only diet right now. Have to be if I want to continue using my leg frame. Don’t ask why. The medics, I swear, they are just guessing sometimes. Apparently something was messing with the receptors that allow me to control these damn things. Or was it the other thing about the stomach pump? I don’t remember. Something was bothering me.”
Kayel glanced down at the basket. It was filled with liquid food pouches. Kayel sighed, then pulled out the bottles of diet alcohol-free drinks and sugar-free syrup, and handed them to Veeyel.
“You can have these, right?”
Veeyel’s smile returned fully. “I love you, mate.” He took the three bottles and put them in the basket, then sat down on the blanket. Kayel smiled as he joined him.
“So what is so special about today?” Kayel asked. “Is this when… Kinisis visits?”
Veeyel grinned again and pulled out three foam cups. “I’m not allowed glasses any more. Not after I knocked a bunch on the floor and broke them. Or the time I went a bit… funny and tried to… never mind…”
“Nothing. I get down sometimes. Sometimes it feels like the pain never ends. Sometimes I… I just want to go to sleep… I think you understand, don’t you.”
Kayel nodded. “I do.”
“Oh, you might want to step away from the door,” Veeyel suddenly warned, just as the door blasted open, revealing what looked like a naked but smooth-skinned Thanatian, wearing nothing but a black sash around her crotch. The obvious female being also had large breasts that flopped around all over the place as she bounced around.
“VEEYEL! YOU CAN WALK!”
“I can!” Veeyel wanted to jump up and down in glee but chose not to. He was wobbly enough as it is and didn’t want to hurt himself.
“AND YOU BROUGHT YOUR OLD BOYFRIEND!”
The creature bounced up to Kayel, then slapped him across the face and knocked him to the ground. Veeyel panicked and immediately put himself between Kayel and the naked being.
“That is for messing with the natural order of things, you necromantic little cunt bag! You should be fucking thankful I don’t send my fucking Veth Prime to tear your guts out and cover this hospital with your fucking traitorous entrails!”
Kayel didn’t respond and just blinked in confusion.
“B-b-but all I do is kill mindless things to make mindful things live longer…” he finally replied. “And sometimes I use telekinisis and electricity to make dead things move. That’s all I do.”
The creature paused. “Really?”
“You don’t steal souls from Kinigi?”
“You don’t soul-trap things?”
“You don’t enslave things as they die?”
“Of course not.”
The creature raised her arms with glee, her breasts still flopping around. “Well you’re forgiven then! Kayel Theanon, my name is Kinisis, but you can call me Death! Pleasure to meet you!”
Kayel glanced at Veeyel, then looked back at Death.
“Nice to meet you, too.”
Death pranced around a bit more then threw herself onto the blanket, pouring herself a drink from one of the bags of liquid from the basket. Veeyel was going to stop her and explain that she was drinking moskari meat soup, but decided not to. Instead he just poured Kayel and himself some of the non-alcoholic sugar-free fake booze.
“So, Veeyel, how ya feeling?” Death beamed as she poured herself some more soup, completely unaware of what she was really drinking. Veeyel was glad that he was off his catheter, because chances are she’d probably drink that and not notice. Then again, Veeyel may have been mentally ill, but he wasn’t mentally ill enough to leave bags of urine all over the place.
“I’m a bit tired actually, Death,” Veeyel sighed. “It’s nice having visitors but the pain is getting to me. Health isn’t looking great either.”
“That’s a shame!” Death was still smiling. She helped herself to another bag of stuff. “Why aren’t you dating Kayel yet?”
The random question confused the two Rethans.
“Oh come on. You two are perfect. Okay, you never got to raise any kids and you’re both mentally ill fools with short life spans, but still!”
“I don’t want to be a drag on Kayel…” Veeyel muttered.
“I feel I’m not worthy to be Veeyel’s partner, and that I got him in this mess…” Kayel whispered.
“You two are idiots,” Death tutted, helping herself to another bag. This time she was eating sachets of low-calorie mayonnaise. “You’re both perfect. Neither of you have much time left. Make the most of it. Oh…”
Before either of the Rethans could ask what Death was talking about, she leaped to her feet, glancing at her wrist, even though she clearly wasn’t wearing a watch.
“I got to go, dearies! Got some stuff I need to do. Souls I need to recycle. Beings I need to kill. Things like that. You two have a nice day!”
As quickly as she’d arrived, Death disappeared, slamming the door shut behind her.
Veeyel and Kayel looked at the door, then at each other, then at the door again.
“Did… did she just suggest that neither of us have long to live?” Kayel asked.
“I… I think so…” Veeyel replied.
“Maybe she’s right. Maybe we should get back together…”
Veeyel turned to face Kayel, then leaned up against him. Kayel wrapped his arms around Veeyel and held him tightly.