Sprint watched her silently, nervously. He wrung his hands together. Usually, newcomers left him alone and he left them alone. That was fine with him.
But Cage...For some reason he didn't mind her. She didn't hurt him, she didn't even try.
It had been so long since he last talked to someone, so long he couldn't remember. It had been in the lab. Maybe. His time in the lab blurred together, and he didn't want to smooth it out.
He watched her for another moment before starting to follow her silently, staying far behind her.
Sprint watched in silence for another moment. He flinched a little inwardly as she struggled, but he kept quiet. He watched as she scratched herself up.
Finally, he stepped forward slowly and carefully, still staying back.
"Y-you...you...You're looking for a cave, aren't you?" He stammered quietly, cautiously.
"There are caves farther that way." Sprint pointed, his hand shaking. He stood still, flinching away a little as he looked up at her. He shuffled back cautiously, taking a few slow backwards steps.
Sprint watched her nervously, waiting for her to say something, to do something, leap out at him, anything. His fingers twitched as he watched her, shuffling his feet. He wanted to keep talking to her. It had been so long. But she was still dangerous. Hanging around danger generally got him hurt. He took an uncertain step back.
Sprint stopped where he was. He stayed tensed, braced and ready to run if he needed to. But he couldn't bring himself to. He stayed where he was, looking up at Cage.
Sprint instantly ran. And not just a normal slow dash. He Sprinted, going as fast as he could, blurring past the creature in the blink of an eye. He swiftly climbed up the rock where Cage was, panting hard already.
"C-c'mon!" Sprint reached out without thinking, grabbing Cage up in his arms, hefting her with a little difficulty despite how small she was. He felt a little weak from Sprinting, but he still had some energy left. After grabbing her up, he didn't even pause for a second before dashing away, Sprinting again to get away from the beast.
He couldn't keep running for long, especially not with someone in his arms. He came to a stop, nearly dropping the girl in his arms as he did so, panting hard. His legs felt weak and his lungs felt tight as he gasped for air. He looked over his shoulder, hoping he had covered enough ground to keep them away from the beast.
Sprint closed his eyes, doubling over as his knees buckled. He kept gasping for breath, swallowing in air as if it was water. He stayed bent over, crouching on the ground for a moment before straightening shakily.
"I-I've never...carried anyone before..." He panted, wobbling back a step.
Sprint blinked at her and the stick. Cautiously, nervously, he reached out to take it, his fingers shaking slightly.
"Th-thank you.." He mumbled, testing it in his hands for a moment before using it to lean on, walking a few slow steps.
"B-back to my cave." Sprint panted. He walked a little faster, leaning on the stick. He glanced around them nervously. "I-I've got to go back to my cave."
Staying out in the open like this made him nervous. Anyone, anything could leap out at him.
He glanced back at her. Usually, being followed was a bad thing. It meant that a predator was tailing him, or that a newcomer was trying to steal his supplies.
But now, he felt glad that Cage was following him. He stayed silent, but he slowed down a little so that maybe his pace could match hers.
Sprint stayed quiet. He watched Cage out of the corner of his eye.
She looked pretty young to be out in the Wilds. Then again, he looked much younger than he really was. The labs were not kind to his growth. His fingers twitched a little.
He wanted to talk, but he didn't know what to say. It had been so long since he last spoke with anyone.
"Um...I-I..I..." Sprint thought for a moment, squinting as he counted off the years in his head. It had been so long since he had had his ID bracelet, so long since he had needed to answer the question of how old he was, it took him a full minute to remember. "N-nineteen." He finally said with a nod. "I-I'm nineteen y-years old."
Sprint watched her silently out of the corner of his eyes as she counted off on her mangled fingers.
Thirteen....He started to do the math in his head, carefully trying to count out how much older he was. Thirteen was certainly older than he had expected. She was tiny, scrawny and little. A lot like him.
"Y-you're from the labs." Sprint said. He immediately wished he hadn't said it. Of course she was from the labs. Everyone- and everything- that came to the Wilds came from the labs at one point. "S-so am I."
"I-I'm from th-the labs too." Sprint said quietly. "I-It's a little better h-here." He said helpfully. He glanced around them, making sure they weren't being followed back.
Sprint silently squeezed into the cave, sliding into the dark space. He blinked and moved to the back without hesitating. He slumped down to the floor with a sigh, his legs already sore. He closed his eyes.
Sprint was silent, just resting for a moment. He cracked his eyes open to glance over at Cage.
"I-It's been a p-pretty eventful day." He said weakly. He tried to smile, but he didn't quite make it.
"I-I survive." Sprint said with a shrug. He paused, looking her over carefully. "A-are you hungry?" He asked quietly. "I-I was hungry on my f-first day."
He had been starving, punishment for not running hard enough for the right amount of time.
He started to move to where his food supplies were, moving back a little farther in the cave.