The first thing Thorn received was a hug. He could feel Solar's arms around his neck, his weight distributing onto his, but it was cold.
Perhaps, even colder than Ice.
"You're finally here," Solar said, a bit of arrogance and pride in his voice. He pulled away, grinning at him. "Got lost on the way?"
The school lab was quiet, and there was no one outside. They were the only ones here.
Thorn didn't smile. His expression drew a blank. "Perhaps."
"That's new." Solar's voice was not hollow. It was full of life. It threw Thorn off, to be frank. "So, what brings you here to me? Missed my handsome face?"
He sounded alive. It wasn't anything like the others, who were hollow and full of lies. His eyes were pure silver, the colour of cold and isolation, but they shone with the light of life and warmth.
Thorn could feel his expression crumpling. He stared at Solar's face, searching for a lie.
He found none.
"Are you okay in the head?" Solar quizzed, sitting down on one of the wooden chairs. "You don't look too well, either."
Where was the lie? Where was the emptiness?
Where was the ghost he found in everybody else?
"You need a check-up," Solar joked, still grinning. He rested his chin on his palm, his elbow set firm on the table.
Thorn could feel his every breath stealing life from him.
He hadn't heard that nickname in some time now.
Solar hummed. "Yeah?"
"Do you know where they are?" Thorn asked. "Our friends, I mean."
His expression was blank. But there was a stray tear in his eye, sliding down his cheek.
Solar shrugged. "How long has it been, Thorn?"
"I don't know."
The world instantly crumpled. When Thorn opened his eyes, the lab was decimated. Tables were broken, and chairs were splintered. Glass on windows were shattered, only shards sticking at the frame. The floor was littered with dirt and glass.
Solar was gone.
Thorn felt tears stream down his cheeks.
Yet his expression was as hollow as ever—a mirror image how the others are.
He fell to his knees, finally breaking down as he walked alone in this barren world, always waiting for an answer that he would never receive.