PreciousMetalShipping // Gold & Silver // G

It was hard to imagine that those five statues had once been alive – had once lived, breathed, walked, run, smiled, laughed, cried. It was easier to imagine that they would simply stand there for hundreds of years, worn down slowly and meticulously with barrages of rain and creeping lichens, until at last their stone faces would crumble away and there would be nothing to mark them as special.

But it was very, very difficult to imagine that the plan to revive them could work.

Gold sat on a nearby branch, hanging low enough to idly tap at the ground with his billiard cue. He knew he should be feeling at least a little creeped out by those frozen faces, gaping at something that had long since vanished. But instead, he felt rather sorry for them. He knew he wouldn't want to be completely helpless like that.

"Would you believe me," he finally asked the statues as a whole, "if I said that your fate depended on a sleeping pixie and a grotesquely short midget?"

They had no response to that.

"Didn't think so." He chuckled to himself; the sound seemed echoey and lonely. "I don't believe it either. But Crystal says it's that or nothing."

A breeze rustled through the leaves, reminding him of a day years before when they'd foiled the evil plans of their icy nemesis in Ilex Forest. He made a face, knowing that he would've preferred action like that to this terrible waiting.

His eyes wandered over to a particular statue with long hair, one who was once the youngest of the five. A sad smile appeared on his face, reflecting the memories of fighting against that other boy – and later, funnily enough, at his side.

"I don't know if you can hear me, Silver," he said, watching the point of his cue bounce against the ground. "But if you are …" He paused, letting a sigh escape his lips. "If you are, I just want you to know that if this doesn't work out … that I really, really respect you. In fact, I might go so far as to call you my friend."

Silence was the statue's only reply.

"You're probably laughing at me, if you're listening. But I'm okay with that. It's better than if you're just ignoring me, like you used to." He smirked. "You know, if someone told me, after we first met, that I'd be having this 'conversation', I would've laughed too. But in the end, I guess I'll either just be laughing with myself … or laughing with you."

With a single catlike movement he jumped from the branch to the ground, ready to head out. Then he paused, glancing back at that stony figure standing there so pathetically. It kind of made him want to go and comfort the boy within. He almost told himself no. He knew what Silver would say about that.

But then he imagined standing there, his mind juggling with unbearable fear and unbearable boredom. Forever.

He strode over to the statue and threw his arms around it in a great big hug.

"Hang in there, buddy," he said, patting it on the shoulder. "We're going to get you out of there." He wasn't sure whether or not he was only reassuring himself, but he couldn't leave Silver alone without some glimmer of hope.

After several minutes, he finally drew away and glanced around at the other four statues. Their faces were still frozen in shock.

"Oh, don't give me that look," he scolded them. "You'll be getting out too. Honestly …"

And after a last smile at his friend, he strolled away, twirling his billiard cue and whistling an airy tune.

*

Coming up next: StaticBoltShipping.