On his back like this, Seven can observe the passage of time, and he watches the patches of sky gradate from orange to brown to grey to black with bright flecks of stars. Two moons rise in tandem, followed by another three at intervals. The sky must be radiant with all that light, but it’s nothing to his room at the Facility, and he isn’t used to the darkness at all. It makes him tired, but he won’t fall asleep so unguarded.

“Beautiful, aren’t they?” Rourke comments suddenly, and Seven is startled back into bodily awareness. “I’ve seen all sixteen of them at a time before, but you usually don’t see more than two or three in a night.”

Seven doesn’t have anything to say to that, and somehow, Rourke reads his silence as permission to continue. “So, fill me in. What’s your story?”

Neither of them is looking at the other, which makes it all the easier for Seven to ignore him.

“You been at the Facility your whole life?” Rourke presses.

Seven’s mouth twitches as he considers answering. “No.”

“Hm,” Rourke says. “Then how did you come to end up there?”

“I can’t remember.”

“I see,” Rourke sighs, though it’s clear he doesn’t. “Then, do you at least remember how you managed to escape?”

“I can’t remember anything,” Seven reiterates, and it’s mostly true. Though it was only earlier today, his memory has long been like a sieve, retaining little, trickling away grain by grain. He struggles to picture the room – his white room with the bright lights at all hours and the wide observation windows, tinted on his side so he can’t see out but they can see in. He remembers a white coat leaving through the door, but there’s no click, no signal that he’s locked in, and though he isn’t in the habit of it, it strikes him as odd, so he tries the door. Even remembering that much makes his head hurt, and the rest hangs hazy in his mind like the remnants of a dream.

He doesn’t tell it to Rourke, though. He doesn’t like talking to this man, doesn’t like letting on that he’s confused, afraid. If Rourke is a white coat, then he must already know, and if he isn’t, then he doesn’t need to.

Thankfully, his curt response shuts him down, and the rest of the walk passes in silence. Rourke was right – it isn’t a long way, which is a relief because Seven’s on the verge of dozing off when they arrive, and he’s terrified of falling asleep in front of this man.

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