“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
“You want me.. to go with you?” I’ve long since lost the ability to be surprised. I’ve lost the ability to feel anything really. All I feel is.. hollow. Just an empty shell where I used to feel emotion.
When Schuldich died.. I lost the ability to feel.
Crawford nods, smirking ever so slightly at me. I’m not afraid of him. I suppose I should be. I woke up to find him standing beside my bed, calling my name. For a moment it seemed like something right out of a nightmare, then he demanded that I get up and follow him.
“All right.” I shrug, sitting up and getting out of the bed. He looks mildly surprised to see I’m fully dressed.
I always sleep with clothes on, just in case something like this happens. Yeah. I do worry about my mortal enemies walking in and waking me up for tea in the middle of the blasted night.
He takes me to a park nearby, asks me to sit on one of the benches, then walks away. Leaving me in the dark on a cold bench. Irritated. Alone. What the hell is all of this about? Where did that bastard go?
Then I feel it. A soft hand on my shoulder. I look up.
Am I dreaming?
“Schul…dich?” Oh god.. it can’t be him. I must be seeing things. I have to be dreaming.
He smiles. Then moves around the bench and sits beside me. His movements are stiff, he seems to be favoring his right side. “Hey, kid.” He says softly as he sits.
It’s his voice. His face. But how can this be? He died.
“Hey, hey, don’t zone out on me.” His hand cups my cheek, he leans forward, placing a soft kiss on my lips. Why is he so gentle? If this really is him.. why isn’t he angry with me?
“It’s me.” He strokes his thumb over my lower lip. He looks tired. Pale, and thinner.
“What?” I find myself leaning towards him, though I don’t know why.
“He used his power to push the blade over. You didn’t stab me in the heart. You missed by about one inch, thanks to Nagi’s quick thinking.” He moves and winces, hand rising to press over his heart.
I reach out, watching as my shaking hands presses over his. He looks down, smiling. “Hey, it’s all right. Just… aches sometimes when I move wrong.” His hand moves from my face and presses over my hand, so my hand is cradled between his, over his heart.
“So, you’re…. alive.” His hands are warm. I can feel the heat from his body. He is real. Suddenly, the hollow feeling inside me bursts and in it’s place is overwhelming joy, love, and pain. I lean forward, sliding my free arm around his neck and hugging him. I bury my face in his neck, to hide my tears. “God Schuldich… I.. I thought…”
“I know.” He frees his hands and hugs me, tightly. Like he’ll never let go and I’m fine with that. I don’t want him to ever let go.
“To the world.. I’m dead.” He murmurs after a while, his cheek is pressed to the top of my head.
I shiver, “I.. I know.”
“Aya… you could be dead to the world too.”
I stiffen a little, “What do you mean?”
“Black and white… as long as you’re Weiss, and I’m Schwarz.. we can’t be together. But, if to Schwarz I’m dead, and if to Weiss, you are… we can be together. Crawford has everything arranged. At your word, he’ll fake your death, then you and I will board a plane to Germany. I have an estate there where we could safely life out the rest of our years.”
I pull back so I can look at his face, “Why… would you want to do that? For me?”
“You silly bishonen,” He says, smiling and running his fingers into my hair, “I love you.”
No. He didn’t just say it. I duck my head, raising my hands to cover my face. He couldn’t have. I must be hallucinating. This must be a dream.
“Hey.. hey, hey..” He hugs me tightly, “Why are you crying?”
“I want this to be real… so bad..” I whimper into his chest.
“No… no, it can’t be. You don’t love me… you’re dead..”
He laughs lightly, “But I’m not, and I do.”
“Yes…” He rubs my back, “Listen, why don’t you say yes? If this really is a dream, then you can go with me to Germany and it won’t matter. Because you’ll wake up the next morning still in your apartment.. right?”
He’s right. I nod against his chest, “Okay. I’ll go.” Because this can’t possibly be real.
I wake to a sore neck. I’m lying down and my head is cradled in something that’s both hard and soft. A hand is stroking my forehead and hair in a steady motion. I open my eyes. In my dream last night, I fell asleep on Schuldich. My head in his lap, my body in my seat. We were on a plane, headed to Germany.
I feel like I’m still in that position. But I can’t be. You don’t fall asleep in a dream, and wake up in that same dream.
“How do you feel?” His voice is like music to my ears.
This really isn’t a dream. He really is alive, and… he loves me. His hand moves to my neck, stroking there ever so gently. I sit up, reluctantly pulling away from his touch. My back aches from the odd position. I don’t care.
None of that matters.
I stare at him, feeling tears rising in my eyes again. I’ve never felt like crying so much in my life. “I love you.” I whisper, leaning over to kiss him.
I twine my hands in his hair, to hold him firmly in place as I claim his lips. Kissing him with all my joy, my love and my passion. His hands rest on my waist, he meets me, returning every emotion I have to share with him.
Is this heaven?
It must be.
Happily ever after doesn’t happen to people like us. Schuldich. Guilt. I will never be good enough for him. My heart never clean enough, my soul never innocent enough, but it doesn’t matter.
He loves me.
That’s all that matters.
He clings to me, head buried in my neck again. I can feel his warm breath on my skin. I stroke his hair, lay my other hand on his lower back. We’re almost there.
I glance out the window, see the clouds rushing by.
We’ll be home soon.
“Schuldich?” He whispers.
“Sh. Go to sleep. When you wake up…” I stroke my fingers into his hair, “When you wake up, we’ll be home.”