Sir Bate / Cite
A pale green Squishy by the name of Cite quietly pushed the twin doors leading to the observation deck on the top floor of Kalmari hospital. He took a quick peek and saw a figure sitting in the middle of the room- it was the same figure he saw earlier that day when he first arrived. The little Squishy was actually quite interested in him since he never saw anyone like him back in his old town. Contemplating his thoughts, the pale squid decided to silently enter the room so he could get a closer look at the winged creature.
Bate never like going to the hospital. In fact, he hated it with a passion. The only thing that made each stay bearable was the top deck. The large windows were perfect for cloud gazing in the evening, and star gazing at night. Since it was rare that anyone came to the top floor, Bate highly enjoyed coming up here when he could. The elder continued to watch the clouds slowly pass the building; perfect tranquility for someone who was stuck in a hospital, he thought to himself.
Cite softly made his way next to Bate and stared in awe at his large, taloned wings. He was quite fascinated by such a unique, odd spectacle.
‘I wonder if he could grab things with them…’ He thought to himself.
Completely absorbed with the elders wings, Cite accidentally lost his balance and fell back as a result. It created a loud echo throughout the room that shook Bate from his thoughts. Cite froze in absolute fear when the figure turned around and saw him.
Of all his years living in Kalmari, Bate was quite baffled that he couldn’t recognize the little Squishy standing behind him. A small, pale green squid with two large fins and dark olive markings on his mantle. He had light beige eyes from what he could tell, and both arms containing an aluminum forearm crutch- which he assume he uses to help him walk. Before Bate could even ask who he was, the Squishy scrambled up and started quickly apologizing.
“I…I’m s-sorry….” He spoke in a soft, trembling voice. "I...I d-din't m-mean to b-bother you...I...I j-just wanted to l-look at the s-s-sky. P…p-please don’t b…b-be angry.”
Bate stared at him for a few more seconds before silently nodding and focusing back on the clouds. By the way he sounded and behaved, Bate didn’t feel like interrogating him. He figured that's what he would have wanted as well.
Cite gave a sigh of relief when the elder turned back and didn’t say anything to him. He never liked talking to anyone, so having someone who didn’t ask who he was or why he was here was quite the stroke of luck. Cite took this time to take a good look at the figure next to him. He was a rather large…round creature sporting two equally large wings. One side of his wing contained a few scars that piqued his interest. He didn’t want to be rude and ask him, so he just continued to silently observe him. Besides his claws and wings, nothing else really stood out that caught his attention…..
“Oh, wait…” Cite took a few steps forward and saw a lone cane in front of the elder. He looked at it, and then back at Bate. While he never liked talking, having something he could relate to was the only thing that would get him speaking. Cite quietly shuffled closer to Bate to ask him about it.
“Y…y-you have….ummm…a c-cane.” He timidly spoke.
Bate tore his gaze from the sky and looked at the carved, wooden stick on the floor. "I do," He simply said, "I injured myself awhile back."
Bate knew the little Squishy was shy, but interested, so he spoke back. "You have two canes.” He said, pointing to the two silver crutches on his arms.
"I do," He slightly smiled, not as nervous as before, "I have t-trouble walking due to, ummm….a con…c-condition. T-that's what my mom told m-me.”
He saw Bate give a small nod. “Hm, I see. So you’ve had them for quite some time.”
“Y-yes,” He sat down and set them on the floor. “H..h-how about you?”
Bate hated thinking about it since it was quite an embarrassing incident. He knew the little Squid wouldn’t laugh like a certain idiotic Sasuke of his, so he decided to share his story.
“Not too long….” He replied, trying not to sound foolish, “I fell down a flight of stairs a few months back…umm…my students didn’t pick up after themselves and I fell as a result.”
“O-oh…” Cite frowned a bit,
“It’s nothing, really” He shook it off and slightly shifted his wings, “I’d rather limp than lose my ability to fly."
That caught Cite's attention, “Do you f…f-fly a lot?”
“Everyday…when I’m not stuck here, I should say. Ever since I was around your age, I believe.” He stated and focused back on the sky, “But enough about me, how about you?"
"M-me?" Cite started to get flustered. He never had anyone ask about himself before. He was quite trilled, but also a bit shy about it. He focused on the floor and softly spoke. "I, ummm...d-draw."
"Draw?" Bate asked, "Hm, interesting. What do you usually draw?"
Cite beamed in excitement when Bate asked him more about his hobby. Never in a million years he thought anyone would ever ask him such a thing. A smile formed on his face as he answered the elders question. "I like d-dr...drawing all t-t...t-types of scenery."
He glanced at the elder and was absolutely ecstatic when he saw him listening. He couldn't believe someone was actually paying attention to him! Extremely content, Cite mimicked Bate's previous action and focused back on the sky. The two were silent for quite some time, not that the pair particularly cared, until Bate decided to speak up.
“It’s odd, I’ve lived in Kalmari for many, many years but….I don’t think I’ve ever seen you around before.” He said, “Are you new here, perhaps?”
He saw Cite nod, “I…m-moved here not too long ago. T-the town of K…Klamar was my old h…h-home.”
“Hm, I think I’ve heard of it before. A few towns away from Kalmari, I believe. Very small and reserved, however.”
“Y-yes…..” Cite started to softly mumbled, “I didn’t l-like it t...th...t-there. My m-mom thought m-moving would…ummm….s-stop all….t-t-the….umm.....” He started to whisper the last part. It was so low that even Bate couldn’t hear.
Bate looked over and was surprised to see the little Squishy softly sobbing to himself. Being a teacher, and also having to caretake a few Puffballs around Cite’s age set off Bate’s parental instincts. Bate had a good feeling that his old town was responsible for causing some rather....horrible memories. Of course, he didn't want to snoop in his business and open up old wounds again. Instead, he motioned one of his wings and hugged the distraught Squishy to comfort him. Cite continued to sob and eventually let up after a few minutes. When Bate sensed he calmed down, he reached over and placed a hand over his mantle.
“H-huh?” Cite said, looking up at the elder when he spoke.
“My name is Bate,” He said, “Could I have yours?”
“O-oh…it’s, ummm…C-cite....M...M-my name is Cite” He quietly said, wiping the last few of his tears away.
“Cite...” Bate repeated the name. He looked down and gave a warm smile to his new friend. “Well, Cite, Kalmari isn’t anything like your old town. I give you my word that no one here is going to hurt you."
Cite's heart skipped a beat. He didn’t even say what happened back in his old town but somehow, he knew. Both of them haven’t even been in this room for an hour, but Cite had a feeling he could trust what he said. Never in his entire life has he ever been able to fully rely on the words of someone else, and yet…hearing Bate tell him that changed it all in an instant. Cite grabbed one of Bate’s wing and hugged it,
“P-p…promise?” He asked, just to make sure.
Before Cite could properly thank him, the doors burst open to reveal a slightly disgruntled doctor. He marched forward and hit Bate over the head. Cite quickly hid under Bate wings, terrified from the sudden outburst.
“Bate!” Mends shouted, “I told you the top floor was off limits! Go back to your room and quit wandering!”
“S-stop hitting me! I just wanted to see the sunset alright?”
Mends was about to shout again but noticed the frightened Squishy hiding next to Bate. He calmed down a bit and sighed, not wanting to frighten his new patient.
“Fine….” He mumbled and headed to the door, “When you’re done head back to your room. No more sidetracking, got it?”
“Hm, got it…” He mumbled.
Cite appeared from under Bate’s wing when he heard the door shut. “I…I’m sorry, I d-didn’t mean to get you in t..tr..trouble.”
“Don’t worry, you didn’t do anything,” He dismissed his apology, “Like he said, I do have a habit of…wandering.”
Bate decided to get up and head back to his room. He didn’t want to keep Mends waiting nor waste more of Cite's time keeping him company, “But it is getting late, and I’m sure you have other places to be.”
“Oh, y-yes…I s-sh-should head back h-home.” He grabbed his crutches and stood up as well. He walked with Bate out of the observation deck and all the way to the elders room.
“I h-have to come here t-tomorrow…w-will you still be h..h-here?” Cite hoped that he’d be able to see him again since Bate was the only friend he made so far.
“I should be released late in the afternoon tomorrow, so yes,” Bate said, “Maybe I’ll see you again,”
He saw how happy Cite got when he said that, which made the elder crack a smile. The little Squishy waved goodbye and headed to the exit, “G-goodbye, M…M-Mr. Bate.”
Bate mimicked his actions and gave a small wave back before heading to his room.
“Ah, it’s about time you showed!"
Bate quickly backed up in a panic when he came face to face with Mends. He didn’t actually think he’d be waiting for him right this very second. The Puffball gave an annoyed huff at his doctor, not thrilled. Mends, on the other hand, was greatly amused.
“I see you made friends with our new arrival, Cite.” He said, tapping his clipboard delightfully, “I guess Puffballs aren’t the only one who seem to be interested in befriending a grump like you.”
“A grump like me? You’re one to talk,” He pushed him aside and sat back down on his bed. “Once he settles down and makes some friends, I’m sure he’ll forget all about me.”
“And yet you said the same thing about Meta and Arthur, and look where you are now,” He pulled out a stethoscope and placed it on Bates chest, “You may not agree, but you have a certain…charm when it comes to the younger crowd. It may not be any of my business, but I think taking little Cite under your wing for a bit until he finds his group would be for the best.”
“And when all of a sudden did you become some childcare expert?” He turned away, not paying attention to his absurd suggestion,“Stick to your job and I’ll stick to mine.”
“Caring for the wellbeing of my patients is my job, boy," Mends gave a small chuckle and moved the device to the side of his back,“You’ve seen how timid he is. He has no one to talk to, and not even a single friend he can be with. I just thought you two would get along.”
“Hm,” Bate hummed to himself, not liking where this was getting at. “Leave it to his family to help him, not some old flight instructor he met an hour ago.”
“Ah, yes…” While it wasn’t professional to meddle in the affairs of his patients, Cite was a special case- to him, at least. Mends could tell how easily Cite warmed up to Bate, and while the elder may deny it, he knew he could sense it as well.
“His mother was too busy to be with him today, and his father….”
Mends stopped and headed to one of the cabinets to grab a syringe with his medicine, using what little time he had to contemplate if he should tell him. He came back moments later and took a seat next to Bate. Letting out a somber sigh, he decided to say it.
“His father left them when he was just a toddler."
Hearing that caught Bate’s full attention. He looked over at Mends, a mixture of hurt and anger now replacing his usual stubborn, stone cold feature.
“Shameful for a doctor like me to give out such information,” He muttered to himself, knowing it was frowned upon to do such a thing, “While tending to Cite a few hours back, he reluctantly told me that his father showed no interest in him. Never talked to him nor even acknowledged him, no matter how hard he tried."
Mends used one of his metal arms and rhythmically tapped the rails of Bates bed to calm himself. He looked away, equally angry and hurt what Cite told him next.
"Cite blames himself for him leaving, and.....” He swallowed a lump in his throat and forced himself to say the rest, “He thinks that things would’ve been better off if he were never born."
Bate’s eyes widened in shock when he heard that. He didn’t know how to respond to what Mends just told him. The little Squid he was talking to earlier that day said that? He couldn’t believe it- it was absolutely unthinkable.
Mends took this time to grab Bate’s arm and inject him with the syringe. He set it down on the table next to him and waited a bit to speak up again.
“I say this not as a doctor or some type of childcare profession, but as a father.” He looked at Bate, “You’ve done quite well raising Arthur and Meta, how would you react if you heard one of them tell you what Cite told me?”
Bate didn’t want to answer that- in fact, he didn’t know if he could. Both grew up having someone to care, protect and watch over them, not like Cite. Bate couldn’t even imagine how it must've felt like to have been neglected at such a young age. No child should ever feel like they’re life is worthless, or even say that they’re better off dead. Thinking of such a thing almost brought him to tears.
Mends got up from his seat and decided to leave the elder warrior to his thoughts.“I’ll be back later to check in, but do dwell on what I said. I’m sure he could use someone like you to look up to.” He gripped the handle of the door and walked out.
"I know you'll make the right decision..." He made his way down the hallway and back to his office. He slightly glanced back at Bate's room and smiled to himself.
"If I didn't, I wouldn't have sent him off to the top floor to meet you...."
Species © Nintendo/ HAL Laboratory
Interpreted characters created from said species © Rhylem
Story © Rhylem
Interpreted characters created from said species © Rhylem
Story © Rhylem