(Page 114) Fading in and out. Faint glimmers of light, then plunging into dark again. The first thing the hunter sees when she finally awakens are the blurred, shadowed figures of eliksni. Shadow blinks, an aching starting up in her head. She takes a deep breath, and as her vision clears, notes she is now alone. Struggling to sit upright on a rather uncomfortable bed, she winces in pain. “Hey, you’re awake!” Glitch is suddenly beside her, his bright optic trailing over her body. “Hey,” she rasps out with a smile. Until she remembers why she’s here. Shadow’s heart sinks. The feeling travels through her whole body. “I... lost...” The silence presses on her with the weight of stones. Glitch reads her face, and decides staying quiet is his best bet. “What happened after...? How did I get here?” The ghost looks away. “They brought you here. And I fixed you up.” “Variks?” Words dry on the hunter’s tongue. “He carried you here, but hasn’t been in since. Last I saw of him he looked concerned,” he adds hastily. A pause. “He does care about you.” Glitch says this softly, hesitantly, but honestly. He’s unsure even now, how to discuss something that had once been so controversial to him. “Do you... need some time alone?” he asks, when he notices his guardian hasn’t responded. Her golden eyes are distant, staring at the wall. Eventually, a muttered, “Yeah... a little. I’ll meet you back at my room.” “I understand. I’ll be waiting there for you, and I’ll finish you up there. Take it easy, alright?” Shell twisting back and forth, he heads for the door. “Yeah.” “...Shadow?” Hesitating, he turns back to her. She looks at him with that ever intense gaze. “You fought really well, by the way. I’m ...proud to call you my guardian. Variks would be an idiot to pass you up.” Blinking through misty eyes Shadow manages a nod of appreciation. She swallows against the lump in her throat, watching him leave. Left alone with her thoughts, the realization that she may have done something she will regret hangs over her head with a nearly unbearable weight.