"I-I'm not s-scared of you." Sprint looked up at her. He tried to manage a tiny smile, a single corner of his mouth flickering up. "Y-you're n-nice."
"B-but I'm not." Sprint said. "Y-you're nice to me. Y-you don't t-t-try to hurt me." The other corner of his mouth flickered up for a few seconds.
"Y-yeah." Sprint nervously rubbed his hands together. "N-no one h-has ever been n-n-nice to me b-before."
"P-people have o-o-only tried t-to hurt me." Sprint shuddered, squeezing his eyes shut as memories from the lab days flashed across his eyes. He wrapped his arms tightly around himself.
"I-I don't e-even know. I-I just know...i-i-it hurt." Sprint could practically feel his scars burning. It was a phantom pain, not really there but at the same time completely real. He shuddered again.
Sprint looked up at Cage and immediately yelped, jumping to his feet.
"I-I-I'm sorry!" He stuttered. "I-I didn't m-m-mean to!" He said, wringing his hands with worry.
Hesitantly, Sprint put a hand on her shoulder.
"A-are you sure? I-I don't w-want to hurt y-you." He said softly.
"O-okay." Sprint slowly an gingerly lowered himself back to the floor, pulling his knees all the way up to his chest. He stared down at the dirt coating his hands, going silent.
Sprint twitched a little when Cage rested her head on him. He tried to stay perfectly still so he didn't disturb her. She really trusted him enough to sleep right here in front of him. It made him happy. He stayed completely quiet as she slept, silently watching the cave entrance.
Cage started to twitch and whimper an shake as she slept. Sprint's eyes widened a little when she gripped at his arm. Unsure of what else he could do, he slowly put his arm around her, still silent.
Sprint held her a little tighter. She was so little, so tiny in his grasp. She needed to be protected and comforted. No one had ever protected Sprint, or comforted, or even just taken pity on him. He had never been loved in any way. He knew it must be the same way for Cage.
He pressed his lips together, silently determining to be the one who protected Cage, and comforted her.
Sprint kept holding onto Cage, even after her breathing slowed and she stopped shaking. He kept his arm around her, holding her close, protecting her from her own memories and nightmares as best as he could.
"Y-you're welcome." He said quietly. He gave her a tiny, flickering smile. "Y-you okay?" He asked, just as quietly.
"O-okay." Sprint started to stand up, stretching his legs out stiffly. He kept watching Cage, staying close to her.
Sprint hurried to scramble after her, following close behind her. As he walked, he kept his eyes out for the various beasts he knew were lurking in these wilds. He stayed tense, ready to either fight or flee to protect Cage.
Sprint heard the sound and instantly dove forward, grabbing Cage and yanking her back and standing in front of her as a dark purple snake slid out of the underbrush, right beside where Cage had been crouched. He backed away slowly, still standing in front of Cage, urging her to move back as well.
Sprint watched the snake nervously, moving back one slow step at a time. He pressed his lips together, carefully pressing back a tiny squeak of fear.
Any sound, and the snake would spring at them.
He silently hoped that Cage would be silent as well. He didn't dare open his mouth to tell her.
Sprint almost didn't dare to breathe as the snake slithered away, back into the underbrush. He still kept silent, just in case, but he turned around and started to move a little faster, grabbing ahold of Cage.
Sprint lifted Cage up, hurrying to take her back to the cave. He didn't Sprint, but he did walk quickly, navigating expertly through the trees with the tiny girl in his arms.