33 Chapter 33: Charlotte

"...my baby boy."

"..."

It wasn't the same as Eleanor. But the way their breaths turn into gasps even though no one was choking them truly mesmerized Zero– it was the water coming out of their eyes that intrigued him.

If he was right, then they were called tears.

[Reader of Fate: Jojo Kurdi, says get off with this cringe whore shit.]

But as far as Zero knows, humans should only produce tears when they're sad– did his clothes smell that bad for her to be sad?

"..." Zero looked at his clothes on the ground for a few seconds, before picking them up and hiding them under his cloak. He thought that Andrea would be keeping them, but since they managed to find their way back to him, then this must only be fate.

And so, with that thought… he turned around and walked away, leaving the woman to cry on her own. The humans could be weird, but the last thing he wanted to learn were the reasons for their tears– it seemed to only be a weakness.

"W… wait! Robb!? Bob!"

Sadly for Zero, however, before he could even take 3 steps, the woman was once again in front of him.

"What… what happened to you?" The woman seemed to want to touch Zero's face again, but once again; her hand did not know what to do.

"I… bought a cloak," Zero muttered before he once again walked away, pushing the woman to the side; but once again, the woman tugged on his cloak.

"Do not touch the cloak… it is new."

"T… this…" The woman then immediately let go of the cloak as she looked at her palms; which were now covered with slightly drying blood.

"..." Zero's nails once again started to protrude and harden as he looked at the woman. If she screamed here, then the other humans would start to get suspicious. He should–

"You… you were gone for 3 months. Why… why didn't you even go home if you… if you're here?"

And before he could even come up with a plan to dispose of her, the woman once again started talking to herself.

"You… you mentioned something about you and Alice going outside to collect data with the slayers and then… and then you never returned… and I… we…

…we had a funeral for you."

"3 months… funeral?" Zero's nails started to retract as he finally looked at the woman's face; the tears that were endlessly gushing from her face, digging into the tiny wrinkles she had, "Who…

…who are you?"

"We–" The woman then instantly stopped talking as soon as she heard Zero's words; her cherried eyes, almost staring through Zero's as the edges of her mouth once again lowered,

"It… it's me, it's mom," she stuttered as she gestured to herself, "Robert, it's me."

"My name… is Zero," Zero shook his head.

"No… no," the woman's lips started to quiver as she closed her eyes, "You… you're my son. No… no matter how much you change your looks I… I won't ever forget–"

"My name is Zero."

"No!" And without letting Zero say another word, the woman suddenly rushed him– hugging him tightly before falling to her knees,

"Please… please…"

"..."

"I… I don't know what happened to you out there, but please… please come back."

"..."

[Reader of Fate: The Dude, says to eat her. Feelings are for the weak.]

[Reader of Fate: The Charred One, says that Zero is his child.]

The woman continued to speak; almost to the point that Zero could no longer understand her stuttered words. It was…

…starting to get noisy again.

Zero's cloak slightly nudged as the nails on his fingers once again started to harden and protrude. There weren't any people looking at them yet, he could probably snap the woman's neck and hide her inside his cloak.

"You… you remember now?" The woman then quickly looked up as Zero's hand started to brush across her neck. Her eyes widened a little as she noticed Zero's hand that seemed like nothing but skin and bones– but still, after a few moments and a breath, the woman rested her cheek on Zero's hand.

"It's… it's okay. Mom… mom is here– !!!"

And before the woman could finish her words, she found she could no longer utter any more as a tight feeling suddenly wrapped around her neck. She tried to pull herself away, but could not even move an inch from where she was standing.

The only thing she could really do was look at Zero; his eyes, not even reflecting her anymore.

"..."

"It…

…it's okay," the woman then stopped struggling; her eyes, not leaving Zero's face, "No… no matter what…

…you're still my son."

"Charlotte!?"

"!!!"

Zero then quickly let go of the woman as he heard a familiar voice suddenly rushing towards them. He looked, only to see the saleslady of the cloak store running towards them.

"W… what's going on, why did you suddenly run away!?" Andrea then gasped as she almost fainted in exhaustion from having to run all the way from the store; her breaths, overpowering Charlotte's tiny coughs,

"If… if you wanted the old clothes, you could have just– Sir!?"

Andrea then quickly tried to collect herself and stand straight as soon as her eyes landed on Zero, "It… it's nice to see you again so soon, sir."

"...Hm," Zero only glanced at Andrea, before once again turning around and walking away. But once again, Charlotte grabbed his cloak– this time, however, Zero did not stop as Charlotte was violently dragged across the floor; her skin, lightly scraping through the hard jagged pavement.

"Ch… charlotte!? What are you doing!?"

"No… no! Please… please stay!"

"Sir! Wait, please!" Andrea then rushed to pull Andrea's hands away from the cloak, but could not do so as Charlotte's grip seemed like it was already glued onto it, "S… sir, you're hurting her! Sir! Sir…

…you're going to ruin your cloak."

"..." And with those words, Zero quickly halted his steps.

"Why… why don't we all talk about what this is?" Andrea then muttered as she looked back and forth between Zero and Charlotte,

"I'll… just close up the shop and let's go to Charlotte's apartment?"

***

"He's your son!?"

And once again, Andrea's eyes looked back and forth between Charlotte and Zero. They were now inside a tiny apartment– even smaller than the shop Andrea was working in. The apartment was already small enough, and the collection of fabric and leather that consumed half of it didn't help.

"...Yes," Charlotte then pointed at a photo sitting on a counter; showing Charlotte and a young man.

"..." Andrea quickly grabbed the frame, looking at it for a few seconds before focusing on Zero, who was sliding his hand across the fabrics for some reason. Andrea then stretched her hand and placed the photo next to Zero's face, causing him to slightly lean to the side.

"..." The young man in the photo had bright blue eyes and blonde hair, wearing a pair of glasses and some sort of lab coat; with a jawline that would make models cry in jealousy.

How… exactly does he look like Zero?

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