“I know just what it feels like
to have a voice in the back of my head.
It’s like a face that I hold inside
A face that awakes when I close my eyes.”
-Papercut by Linkin Park
I stroke his hair. In sleep he’s finally relaxed, hands uncurled from the tight fists they’d been clenched in a few hours ago. Face smooth, brow furrowed. Bad dreams? He doesn’t move away from my hand stroking his forehead, I doubt he even feels it in sleep. But the fact that he doesn’t wake from my touch makes my heart twist painfully. He trusts me.
If anyone else tried to touch him right now, he’d wake.
But he trust me enough that my touch doesn’t disturb him.
I gently brush his forehead with my fingers, feeling a strange tightness in my chest that I recognize as emotion. I love him so much. I’m finding it hard to breathe.
With a sigh I lay down, on my side. I pull him tightly against my body, moving so our legs twine together. His head rests just under my chin. He moves, cuddling against me in his sleep. Arms wrapping around my chest, under my arms. I hug him, feeling the tightness in my chest getting worse.
Did I hurt him? He seemed willing enough, hell he begged me not to stop. So why did he cry like that? Why did he seem so hurt? Upset? The need to dip into his thoughts is so strong. So strong I’m afraid I won’t be able to hold back.
Nagi. Shit. I pull away from Aya, he stirs, so I stroke his hair as I slide out of the bed. He curls up a little tighter around himself, then seems to go back to sleep. I walk to the door, grabbing a shirt and pulling it on as I do. I don’t bother buttoning it up.
He’s knocking on my door across the hall. I open the door and slip into the hall, closing the door softly behind me. Nagi turns, not looking too surprised to see me coming out of Aya’s room half undressed. “What’s up chibi?”
“Weiss is here.”
“Ah.. I see.” I run a hand through my hair.
“They’re not in the building yet, but Crawford wanted you to know.” He gives me that look. The look that asks; Why didn’t you sense them? Why didn’t -you- warn us?
I was too preoccupied not hearing Aya to be aware of anything else. Too lost in my own thoughts to bother with the other whispers of thoughts coming into my mind. Now I did focus, and I could hear his buddies.
They were intent on getting him back, and mad as all hell at us. They hadn’t known we had Aya. Not until just recently. I quickly push their thoughts out of my head, focusing on Nagi. “I didn’t hear them.”
“I noticed.” Nagi said dryly, “Is he up?”
I glance at the door, “No.”
“Well, wake him. Crawford says we’re handing him over.”
I nod, turning and walking back into the room. I lean against the door, clenching my hand into a fist. I want to cry. To scream. To grab Aya and run. But I won’t do these things. I know they’re pointless. Instead I stumble back to the bed. Crawl into it and pull him into my arms for one last hug.
I’ll never be able to touch him like this again. Never be able to stroke his hair while he sleeps. Kiss his cheek as he wakes.
Hold him when he cries. Laugh at him when he’s being an idiot. Tease him into a smile, no matter how reluctant it is.
He’ll leave, and I know he’ll never come back.
I tighten my hold on the sheets, turning my head into the pillow. I don’t want to wake up. Sleep is such a peaceful place. A place where I can forget how ugly reality is. Where I can pretend Aya is alive, and I’m just Ran again. A struggling college student who’s shy, but happy.
“Aya.” The voice persists, a hand grabbing my shoulder and shaking me.
I groan, opening my eyes as little as possible. “Just a little longer.” I mumble, forgetting that Aya isn’t alive, and it’s not Aya who’s trying to wake me.
Memories come back swiftly as I notice the green eyes peering at me. Schuldich.
I groan, covering my face with my hands in a vain attempt to hide. He grabs my wrists, tugging them away. “Time to get up.” He says with a crooked smile.
I try not to concentrate on that strange look in his eyes, or the tender way his hand is stroking my shoulder. I try to block it all out and pretend it doesn’t exist. It’s not really happening, and certainly not to me.
“Don’t touch me.”
He flinches, pulling his hand back and for a moment he almost looks hurt. Then the moment passes and his expression is unreadable again. He smiles, only one side of his mouth tilting. “Your friends are here.”
I sit up, glancing down as I do and realizing I’m naked. I grab the sheets and pull them over my lower body, glowering at him. He’s smirking now, looking very amused. “Get out.” I hiss.
He nods, standing and moving away from the bed. “They’re here to take you home.” He says.
What else would they be here for? He doesn’t think I know what they want? I just watch him, waiting for him to continue.
But he doesn’t say anything else. He looks down at me, a question in his gaze. A question I can’t answer. Not because I don’t know what it is, but because I just don’t know the answer. He stares at me, I can’t meet his gaze. I keep my mouth firmly shut.
Finally he turns and walks out of the room, the door shuts with a bang behind him. I shiver, closing my eyes and hugging myself tightly. Why do I feel like crying again?
I bring my knees up to my chest and press my forehead to them. I hate him for what he’s making me feel. Hate him so much…
With an angry growl I throw the sheets aside and move off the bed. I have to get away from here before I lose what little control I have left and start crying like a baby again. Like I did last night.
He held me. The entire time. He didn’t criticize, or laugh.. he just held me.
God! I have to forget. I can’t think about it. He was just being nice because I let him fuck me. Every guy spouts words of love and act nice after sex. Don’t they? With women.. I think they do. I’ve never been with a guy before…
I don’t know how it works.
I grab my clothes, or rather the clothes Schuldich gave to me, from the dresser and pull them on. They feel too tight. I want to rip them off and burn them. They’re from -him-. But I can’t go out to meet the others in nothing, so I have no choice but to wear what Schuldich gave me.
I’m happy. They’re here, and now I can leave.
I kneel and tug on socks and shoes. It’s not easy. I still don’t have complete control over my body. There are times where I can’t move at all. Mostly if I’ve had a long day and have been walking too much. Other times I have difficulty speaking. Schuldich said it would go away with time, but it hasn’t gone away yet.
Why do I trust anything he says?
No matter what, he’s the enemy. He has no reason to tell me the truth.
But he also had no reason to be by my side the entire time I was healing. He had no reason for being kind, bringing me breakfast in bed, or lunch when I was too tired to walk. No reason to help me relearn how to walk, or stay by my side as I attempted to walk down the stairs.
So why did he do it?