May. 23rd, 2013

khantact: Silent Hill Revelation (Default)
 Every day, we stand at different ends of a really huge chasm, and we shout at each other. Eventually you get frustrated and storm off, and after awhile I start crying. It’s not like I can leap the chasm and go catch you, and keep you from leaving. I just have to sit there and see if you ever come back. Sometimes you sit there, just out of earshot, and watch me pleading. I get as close to the chasm as I possibly can, trying to get you to pay attention to what I’m saying. But you sit there with a blank face like you’re not registering anything. I know you’re hearing everything I say, you’re just acting like you don’t. And that frustrates me so much. Because all I want is for you to listen to me, but you won’t even do that. You just sit there, staring at me blankly.

    Some days, I contemplate throwing myself off the cliff, just so I can stop shouting and stop hearing you shout back. All I want is to make it across, but you obviously don’t want that or you would have helped that happen by now. Sometimes I just want to throw myself off and feel the wind, and sometimes I want to throw myself off because maybe that will finally get a reaction out of you. But no. For some vague, unexplainable reason, I come back out to the cliff every day, look at you from across the chasm, and we nod our heads, and the process starts all over again. It never moves, it never gets closer, and neither one of us ever makes it across. We just keep shouting. I have to wonder when our voices will go hoarse.

55 Minutes

May. 23rd, 2013 12:50 am
khantact: Silent Hill Revelation (Default)
 All I have ever been taught is how to lie down in front of the door of opportunity while the over-zealous and over-achieving and the smart and the happy wiped their feet on me, without even so much as a “thank you”. My cerulean blue personality was only too happy to oblige. Most of the time it wanted to help out, to really rub it in. All I knew how to be was the doormat. I didn’t learn how to even be the suitcase or the pencil. Just the doormat. I have spent so much of my life laying down. Occasionally I have stood up, only to be slapped back down again – not by feet, but by my own will. The only trick this mat has ever learnt was to destroy itself, to beat itself up while people watched, not doing anything, either because they didn’t see what was going on or because they weren’t sure what their reaction should be. Should they clap? Should they chastise? Certainly it is a very wonderful – if tragic – piece of magic.

This doormat has a voice and uses it too much. Generally this doormat is greeted by secret and sometimes imaginary eyerolls from the suitcases and the pencils and sometimes even the tie, if it deems the mat worthy enough of its time. But the doormat still never stands up and learns to walk around, nor does it soul-jump to see what it might perhaps be like to be the pencil or the suitcase, nor does it dream what being a tie would be like.

And I don’t know how to carry on the metaphor. All I want to say is that from 5:30-6:25 on Wednesdays nights, I don’t feel like a doormat.

I don’t feel like an outsider.

I don’t feel like an enemy.

I don’t feel weird or anxious or unhappy or hated.

I actually have a nickname.

I actually have friends.

What I say and what I feel actually matters.

And for 55 minutes, I am a very happy person.

For 55 straight minutes, I smile.

For 55 minutes I am living my life, not just for myself but for other people too.

For 55 minutes, I matter to someone, somewhere.

For 55 minutes I am not depressed.

For 55 minutes I do not cry.

For 55 minutes I do not think of the past or worry about the future.

For 55 minutes I do not worry about my homework or projects or my roommate or my laundry or taking a shower. For 55 minutes of my life the only things I have to care about are food and the time. Sometimes one or the other isn’t even a problem.

For 55 minutes I do not feel awkward.

For 55 minutes I do not feel lonely.

For 55 minutes I am not alone.

The other 1, 385 minutes of the day I am pretending to be someone else. Someone happier or someone moodier or someone who isn’t real. But for 55 minutes of the day, I get to be myself. I get to be Erin Elisabeth Byrne. And I am never happier.

khantact: Silent Hill Revelation (Default)
 I see your smiles, and I smile back.
Something about the nice way you’re treating me makes me feel even more left out.
I don’t understand why you’re being nice to me.
I don’t understand why I can’t just take the fact that you’re being nice to me and just run with it.
Being around you guys is intoxicating, it makes me smile.
But you don’t know me.
You’ll never know me.
You’ll never want to.
Even now, You give me this look like you accept me. How can you possibly accept me?
And then you treat me…like I’m nice.
You treat me like…you care about me.
I think you’re lying.
But then I look at you.
You’ve looked at me.
You’re watching where my hands are held.
You look away.
There’s a concerned look on your face.
I’m not the only one keeping secrets.
What do I do now?
When you know?
Not until you tell me to stop.
khantact: Silent Hill Revelation (Default)
 You’re hurting yourself more than me.

Your face remains unchanged - impassive.

Izzat so?

We seem to be communicating telepathically.

That shouldn’t come as a surprise. It’s always been that way. You do so much to yourself, yet I remain unchanged.

You cock your head. I cock mine too.

You’re the one who feels broken. You’re the one who hurls the insults. You’re the one who can’t stand the sight of me.

For a moment, I think you’re going to turn away, perhaps for the last time ever, only see glimpses of me.

Then, before I can react, your throw your fist, and I break into a million pieces.

There now, who’s broken?

You say, with a grin I can no longer reflect.

It may be my pieces.

But it’s still your blood on my broken mirror.

khantact: Silent Hill Revelation (Default)
 Things like these shouldn’t be this hard. How hard is it to say – to look someone in the eyes - and say ‘I love you’? A first person, drastically overused word, and a second person. ‘I love you’ – the one phrase that should mean everything, but is said so often that it signifies nothing.

But when is the right time to really say something of this magnitude? I watch my best friend, see her chattering, giggling, completely oblivious to the world. I just want to shake her, let her know that I have something I need to say, and I need her absolute attention to say it.

I want to say what I’m thinking. I want to stop pretending.

But when I feel the words come to my lips, they die. I shake my head, I smile my Stepfordgrin, and I think to myself, Later. Later on today, definitely. But our days are so rushed that we barely have time to say hello, let alone to make startling confessions. By the time we get to her locker, I lose my nerve again. She is talking, completely at ease. She looks at me, but I have run out of words to say. I just shrug.

I start to walk out of the hallway – That was the perfect time, I tell myself. You missed your one chance. Opportunities like that don’t occur every day, and you just missed yours.
I’m not so relieved to see TJ is there. I wanted some time to be by myself. And anyways, he must have already gone to his locker. Why is he still here? Is he waiting for me?

“Hi, Alice” he says softly. I don’t know why he’s so shy. Or so quiet, so un-talkative. It’s. only me. Doesn’t he know I won’t bite?

I prattle off, operating on auto-pilot. I have no idea what I’m talking about. TJ just stands there, nodding at me. I have no idea what I’m saying, but I do know that I’m thinking of something completely different.

TJ looks at his shoes and then at me. And then, we’re both on auto-pilot; we go down stairs, talking vaguely about things that don’t matter (Or rather, I’m talking. TJ’s walking next to me, barely alive). We hug goodbye and I think that, as he leaves, I hear him muttering something under his breath; something that - I have an awkward feeling – he doesn’t want me to hear.

I throw water hastily onto my face and try to breathe normally. I try to undo the knot in my stomach – the one that is accompanied by the sick, crying feeling. I don’t know how to handle it. I tremble and try to hold back the hurt and the need to cry – finding it impossible, and that tears are streaming down my face. My stomach begins to jerk away from the rest of my body. I am losing it. I am becoming more and more unable to hold in my sick tears and sad nausea.

I straighten up and stare into the mirror on the wall in front of me. I stared straight in, furrowing my brow and frowning. All of this just makes things worse. Look at yourself. Failure. That’s what you are. You have no courage. You’re just lucky you can breathe on your own.

I don’t want to look at myself as I start crying. I can feel my face contort – and that’s bad enough. I don’t want anyone else – namely my parents – to see me like this. I don’t want them to ask, I don’t want to explain.

What has happened to me? How have I suddenly gone from a strong, independent girl who relied on no one, who treated everyone with the same cynical, sarcastic manner, to a girl who is sad and cries all the time, who depends on others to help her through her misery, who sets one person apart from all the rest for special treatment?

I bang my head on the wall. My parents hear this and everything gets quiet. “Alice?” my mother calls. “Are you alright?” I mumble something, suddenly terrified that any noise above a grunt will give away my secret. Had my parents not been in the house, I would have broken the mirror into a million pieces and taken care of this pesky heart of mine.

Oh, how I hate my life.

I approach the lockers the next morning with caution. It isn’t often that I see TJ so flustered and angry with emotion. I don’t think I’ve ever seen him angry. I try to reach out to comfort him, but he moves too quickly away.

And that has never happened to me before. I’m not sure if I should be hurt by his rejection or worried about his sudden cold shoulder, but either way, there’s no time for me to deal with it.
And things don’t get better when I see her again. She’s smiling and perfect and happy and everything I’m not. I’ve never felt so jealous of someone in my life, or so intimidated – how is it that she can be so wonderful? I lose all resolve to say anything again, and I resent her for it.

But when she looks at me, I am overwhelmed with this feeling –

This feeling of overwhelming pain and anguish that comes with liking someone who can never return your feelings… the feeling you can’t hold back, so you cry – or almost do, but are too afraid of the reactions of those in the room. You literally feel the pain coursing inside you.

Not only can I not talk now, but I don’t want to, and I don’t see any time in the future when I will. I can’t help my feelings. As I look at her, my rational heart knows that nothing will ever change. She will never feel the way that I feel. My mind draws me into imaginations in which my heart gets what it wants, but I know this can never be true. I can only hope the rest of the day goes normally. The last thing I want is something else to worry about.

But it doesn’t. TJ is rushing past me, and I barely have time to reach out and stop him. He doesn’t give me any time to think before he is screaming at me – “How could you let this happen? Why did you let it happen? Because for awhile, I felt nothing for you, and I was content with the way life was going. Then, you had to treat me like you do, had to be all flirty when you know well that it means nothing. I’m tired of it. Leave me alone,” he snaps. He then sighs, letting out a deep breath he was holding within, and walks quickly in the other direction.

And now I’m jealous of TJ as well. At least he said what he needed to say, at least he has courage. I’m still waiting for mine to come in. I’m still waiting to exhale.

khantact: Silent Hill Revelation (Default)
 Harry never was good at dancing. Then again, he'd never had much practice. Dancing, like most other things considered fun by normal humans, was banned in the Dursley household.

Harry shuffled around the halls of Hogwarts, hands in his pockets, just days after the Yule Ball. Ron and Hermione were having yet another fight that Harry was trying to avoid being dragged into. He felt badly about the way he'd treated his date (though he couldn't remember which sister he'd gone with), having spent all night staring at Cho Chang.

Cho Chang, who had the perfect boyfriend and probably wouldn't go for Harry even if she didn't.

Harry sighed, looking around him. Life at Hogwarts was never exactly dull. Someone was out for his life – as per usual – he was failing potions (again, as per usual), and the weather was reflecting his mood…a sleet kind of rain that prevented his motivation from getting him down to Hagrid's hut. He couldn't stay in Gryffindor tower long enough to find his invisibility cloak and get out, so he was now slouching behind a column, pretending not to exist.

"What are you doing here?" One of the two sisters he and/or Ron had gone to the Yule Ball with was standing in front of him. Going by the sneer on her face at the sight of Harry, he'd guess it was his date.

"Oh, I'm just…hiding."


"From Ron and Hermione."

She lifted her nose. "Oh. He ignored my sister at the dance. May as well have just stood her up." Yup. Definitely his date.

"Yeah, sorry about that. He's kind of…confused."

"I'll say." She flipped a braid back behind her robes. Harry wondered why on Earth she was wearing her school uniform on a weekend. He didn't think it polite to ask.

"And…I'm sorry…I didn't ask you to dance. I really can't dance… I might've stepped on your foot."

To his great surprise, she smiled genuinely. "That's okay. I figured as much. That, and you couldn't keep your eyes off of Cho Chang."

Harry blushed deeply, unable to keep himself from cooing "yeah, she did look quite beautiful, didn't she?"

She looked horribly perturbed and offended. "Well, I never!"

Harry never really understood why she stormed off, but he guess that it might have had to do with the fact that he never told her half as much about herself at the dance. Hermione would probably smack him for this later.

X – x – X – x – X – x – X – x – X – x – X – x – X – x – X – x – X – x – X – x – X –x – X

Harry remembered his flaw at the Yule Ball, and couldn't help connecting the moment then to the moment now. He couldn't stop staring at Ginny. He knew that he should be the one dancing with her, holding her closely, telling her how beautiful she looked…not that smarmy ex-boyfriend of hers. Who the Hell invited Dean Thomas anyway?

Harry kicked a stone on the ground with such force that it smacked the leg of a crotchety old witch at the nearest table, who promptly turned to glare at Harry. He shrugged sheepishly, trying to whistle aimlessly. He rocked from side to side, a million thoughts bursting through his mind at once. I should just forget about her. Just forget about her. Just forget about her? I can't just forget about her! She's the only girl I've ever felt this way about…

But he looked at the smile on Ginny's face, as Dean twirled her around, and he felt his blood boil. He thought that she loved him. She kissed him on his birthday. Was this just some sort of act to make him jealous?

He could see the same look on Fluer's face. As nausea-inducing as it was, Harry also found it…kind of sweet. Although on Hermione's face, it was sickening. (She was like a sister, and was dancing with Ron, who was like a brother.) Ron was going to get the girl in the end, they all must have known that. Ginny, if she ever even forgave Harry – was she even going to be alive? Was she going to be the least bit interested in him? What if she had moved on? What if Harry himself never survived…

Harry had started a nervous pacing, biting his lip and twirling his knotted fingers around one another, when Luna Lovegood, of all people, walked up to him.

"Oh, hello Harry. Is that a new kind of dance you're doing?"

"How did you –" Harry shook his head. This was Luna Lovegood, the girl who talked to trees, fed Thestrals, and believed in Nargles. Why was he even asking such a ridiculous question? "…I don't know, maybe in some places it is."

Luna looked over to where Ginny was standing. Ginny shot Luna a stare of complete animosity, as if warning Luna to keep away from Harry. Harry, feeling she had no right to talk - er, look - stood directly in front of Luna, outside of Ginny's eyesight.

"I suppose you still love her, then?" Luna was looking at the ground shyly. Her hands were behind her back and she was swaying to and fro. Her hair swished back and forth.

Taking this opportunity to improve on his social manners, Harry asked, "Would you care to dance, Luna?"

"Love to!" she took his hand lightly, leading him out to the dance floor. Harry was impressed with the strength that he felt, just through her fingertips. He was even more impressed when he found that she was also leading the dance. "I noticed that you weren't very good at this at the Yule Ball."

"Really? What, were you spying on me?" he joked. She smiled, but shook her head. Harry wondered why on Earth she wouldn't look him in the eyes.

"You were dancing in the middle, silly."

"Oh, yeah…that."

They remained silent for awhile. Harry was usually unnerved by the silence, as it usually meant that somebody was creeping up on him. But with Luna, it was a calming quiet, as opposed to an eerie quiet. He held her closer, putting his head on hers. Everything felt so calm and so peaceful. He wished it could be this way all the time. Why were things never this restful?

The dance ended, and it looked as though speeches about whatever it was speeches were normally about at weddings were getting ready to be made. Luna leaned up on her toes. She kissed him on the cheek. "I think I should go check on my dad now. I hope I'll hear from you…" she gave him a knowing look. "If you can. Be careful." Harry watched her walking away, missing the heartbroken glance from Ginny, standing moodily in the corner.

X – x – X – x – X – x – X – x – X – x – X – x – X – x – X – x – X – x – X – x – X – x – X

Harry trumped through the wreckage that used to be Hogwarts School of Witchcraft and Wizardry. They'd managed to clear the bodies up, and their allies were discussing ways and times to rebuild the school. The teachers were trying to take care of the injured. Neville was surrounded by a horde of girls, and didn't really look like he knew how to take it. Ron and Hermione were cuddling in a corner, holding hands, and surrounded by Ron's family. Hermione was taking on the roll that Harry imagined Mrs. Weasley would play in any other situation – quieting everyone down and trying to console them all. Harry, although he thought of them as family, didn't think he could quite handle all the pain at the moment.

He slouched down to the lake, sitting cross-legged and watching the Giant Squid toss debris out of the lake. He couldn't hold it all in. All of the deaths, all of the destruction…he didn't even like his aunt and uncle, yet he couldn't help wondering where they were right now, and were they okay? Was Dudley any different now? Would he grow up to be as ignorant and fearful as his parents? What about Draco? His mother really loved him, what was she doing with someone like Lucious? Would Draco change? Was he ever really evil at all? How would Harry let everyone know the truth about Snape? Who would the Headmaster or Headmistress of Hogwarts now? And the thought that caught him most off-guard: Where was Luna?

"Hello," he turned to see Luna just standing there, as if she had read his mind. She looked dirtied and injured, but okay. She sat on the ground next to him. "I imagined you'd be here…to cool off…and maybe you'd like some quiet company…" she reached deep into her pockets. "And some candy."

Harry smiled. Oh Luna. You always know what to say."

"It's a gift." They both ate their candy in silence.

If they completely forgot about the war that had just been going on, it almost looked beautiful. The sun was sitting just on top of the hills, a soft pinkish glow making everything look calming and demure. Harry shook his head. "It's all so…weird." He laid back, staring at the trees.

"They look like they're smiling, don't they?" Luna asked dreamily. "I love the trees…they don't discriminate."

Harry didn't really care what she meant or what she was thinking. Her voice was making him forget about all the evil he had just encountered, and making him think about the trees. He just knew he was going to have weird dreams about trees dancing around and singing to him.

Or was that…Luna singing? She seemed to be humming a lullaby.

Harry laid on his side, breathing rhythmically. He could feel Luna laying close to him. Without thinking about it, he put his forehead next to hers, and kissed her softly on the nose. She didn't ask him anything. She took his hand in hers, and the two fell asleep, for the first time in several days.

khantact: Silent Hill Revelation (Default)
 Soul, in scythe-form, groaned in agitation. Kid had been wandering up and down the alleyway for over an hour, trying to find a way to balance Soul so that they both felt and looked symmetrical, despite this being the exact opposite point of this exercise.

"Hey, Soul…does this feel symmetrical to you?"

Soul suppressed a snort at the amount of sexual innuendos now trolling through his mind. "I dunno, Kid…"

Kid bit his lip in worry. "What do you think would make it more symmetrical?"

"I think…" Soul began rocking back and forth in Kid's hands. "THIS!" Soul threw all of his weight and concentration into slamming his blade into Kid's forehead.

Kid dropped Soul and went into ducky-squat position. Soul transformed back into a human and put his hands behind his head.

"That wasn't very partnerly of you, Soul." Kid's shoulders were shaking. Soul was torn between annoyance at Kid's overreaction and sympathy toward his condition; Kid was definitely making things more difficult than they needed to be, but Soul also knew that he couldn't really help it.

Soul shrugged awkwardly. "Che, whatever." It was nearly midnight and they hadn't even started on their mission. They'd left as soon as school had let out, had spent about two hours at Kid's house preparing, about three hours trying to search for the "perfect" entrance, and…Soul couldn't even remember what they did for the rest of that time. He might have even fallen asleep during it.

"We're supposed to be working together, Soul," Kid admonished, wiping the dust and dirt from his immaculate clothes. Soul didn't really need reminding of why he and Kid were working together. He, Maka, Kid, Liz, and Patty had been dragged into Lord Death's…well, he couldn't really call it an office; they'd been pulled into Lord Death's space and told that for the next month, they'd be switching partners.

"I want Kiddo to learn to play well with others ~" was how Lord Death had phrased it. As Maka explained it later, "You, like papa, are an actual scythe. Lord Death can use any weapon, but he usually sticks with my papa. He wants Kid to do the same, with you. It's tradition." Maka seemed mischievously happy about the switch, holding hands and giggling with Liz and Patty. Soul didn't think that Maka, who was rather tomboyish, would enjoy spending all that time with Liz and Patty – especially since they'd also decided to switch residences – but she definitely looked more excited than Soul felt. That wasn't to say that Soul disliked Kid, it was more that, well…

"You are more annoying than Maka on her perfectionist days. And at least she has good reasons for worrying. What the Hell is it gonna matter if I don't look symmetrical in your hands?"

Kid's face began to redden, although Soul couldn't tell if it was in anger or embarrassment. Soul had a tendency to evoke both emotions in his friends. "I apologize for my imperfections. You know, we can't all be perfect like your girlfriend."

"She's not my girlfriend," Soul muttered. "But seriously. At least Maka freaks out about things like technique and whether or not moves will work. You're having panic attacks because the weapon you're gonna have to use to save your life and the lives of others may be a centimetre or too off from being perfectly symmetrical when you're not even using it! What exactly are you gonna do when we get attacked? Pathetic."

There was an awkward silence as Kid contemplated their situation. "I suppose you're right. Well…that's enough for one night!"

Soul grabbed the back of Kid's collar. "Oh, Hell no. I did not just spend five plus hours wandering around with you acting like an idiot for us to get absolutely nothing done." Soul ran forward, using his scythe blade to break through the decimated walls, dragging a screaming Kid behind him.

"Soul! What the Hell are you doing?"

Soul didn't answer, but what he was doing was trying a tactic he often used on Maka when she began to overthink things.

"There is a witch in here, Kid – a witch. And not the nice kind like Kim and hopefully Angela. The douchy kind, like Medusa, only hopefully she's not quite that much of a threat yet. If we don't get moving now, she will be."

Kid dug his heels into the ground and Soul started to trip. He grabbed onto the wall to keep his balance, while Kid slammed a fist into his face, throwing him to the ground. "Please do not ever try that again! Is this perfectly clear?"

"Fine," Soul snapped. "I'll just go find this witch and defeat her myself."

"Ugh! Soul! Get back here! What are you going to do without your meister?" Kid ran off after him.


- - - - - - - - - - - - - - - X x X - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - -


"Geez Maka, what are we going to do with those two?" Maka shook her head. She, Liz, and Patty had successfully taken down their own target several hours ago and, after receiving an urgent and worried call from Lord Death, were on their way to help Soul and Kid take down theirs. Maka didn't really mind helping out, but she was worried about Kid's Obsessive-Compulsive tendencies spiraling out of control. Well...more out of control than they already were, if Liz and Patty weren't exaggerating (and for once, they weren't). Maka had faith in Kid's powers, but she had no idea how he could remain sane with such a tough job if he couldn't even handle having an asymmetrical weapon to work with.

Maka was now running with both Liz and Patty, in gun-form, in her hands. She was used to working with one arm free, but since there was no blade, she was able to run more smoothly. The change was welcome, though it felt strange.

"Where do you think they could have gotten to?"

"Well, I just tried to sense Kid's Soul. It feels like we've passed them. Are they even in here yet? What's taking them so long?"


- - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - X x X - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - -


"Soul! Stop!"

"Why? Am I not running symmetrically?"

"Well, no, you're not, but that isn't the point: This could be really dangerous."

"Oh?" purred a voice. "What was your first clue?" The witch looked almost exactly like Soul was expecting; her clothing was various shades of pink, red, and gold. She looked beautiful and was ornately dressed. The only thing Soul wasn't expecting was the scowl and the black hair. "I've been waiting for you" she whispered. She blew a kiss in their direction. Soul knocked Kid out of the way, landing on top of him. "Oh, I had no idea you swung that way."

"I don't" Soul snarled, glaring at Kid. He helped Kid up, then kicked him from behind. "If you're not going to help, get out of the way!"

"Aw, a lover's spat," the witch teased. "How sweet."

"Soul, we're supposed to be working together," Kid stressed.

"It might go better if you actually worked, Kid."

"Okay" The witch yawned. "Now, you're boring me. Time to make things interesting…Liebe lieben, amour amoure." The Witch pointed a finger at Soul, who was still arguing fervently with Kid.

Soul slapped his head. It felt like he'd been bitten by a bug or something. "Now things will be worth watching!...but not tonight," the Witch purred again.

"What? Get back here and fight!"

"No thank you, I think I'll wait 'til the spell takes effect."

"Hey lady! What the Hell are you talking about?"

"I haven't really gotten a chance to try it out on a weapon yet, I wonder what it'll do?"

"Would you please quit yabbering on like you don't want to tell me? What did you do to me?"

"Oh, you'll find out soon enough. You'll run into someone special, and then you'll understand." She waved. "That's all for now. I'll see you tomorrow!"

"Lame!" Soul countered, in a weak attempt to get the Witch to return. It was ineffective.


- - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - X x X - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - -


Soul was once again running away from Kid, although he wasn't paying much attention to where he was going. What the Hell did that witch mean? And where the Hell did Kid go? Soul was so caught up in his thoughts that he didn't realize when he –

"Ow – God, Soul, watch where you're going!"

"Ugh, sorry Maka – Maka? What are you doing here?"

Maka dusted herself off. Soul twitched. Everything was beginning to remind him of Kid and his annoying habits. "We were told to come down here and assist you and Kid…Where is Kid?"

"Don't know…don't care. Where are Liz and Patty?"

Maka shrugged. "I don't know. I think Liz went to go look for Kid. She told Patty to stay put, but I'm pretty sure Patty ran after her anyway."

There was a small silence. "I'm just getting the Hell outta here before he comes back, care to come with?"

Maka giggled and grabbed Soul's arm. "I'm down with that. Have you eaten yet?"

Soul shook his head, although he didn't really feel like eating. His face felt flushed and he felt slightly sick, but he'd forgotten about the Witch.

pt 2 >>
khantact: Silent Hill Revelation (Default)
 "Soouull, Soouull –"

Soul attempted to kick the disembodied voice away, but it grabbed onto his leg. "Oh, now is that any way to treat an old friend?"

"Since when are we friends?" Soul growled in his sleep, attempting again to kick away the voice. He wound up kicking it on its horned head.

"Come on now, you know how this works. It's a guidance type thing. You may not always like what I tell you, but I'm always right, yes?"

Soul pried an eye open. "I don't think 'right' is exactly the word for it." Soul stared at what the demon held in his hands. "The Hell? A guitar? You know I don't play guitar."

"Why not? You already play the piano. Isn't that the root of all things musical?"

"No, not really." Soul looked around the red-and-black checkerboard room. It was still decked out in gothic candles and curtains, but - "Where is the piano? It's not like you're doing anything, you could have rebuilt it by now."

"Not been doing anything?" he hissed. "In the past few nights I've been battling off this infection you gave me."

Soul neither knew nor cared what the he was talking about. He just wanted to go back to sleep. Soul sighed. "Why did you bring me here?"

"Because of this" he thrust the guitar at him. "You should learn to play. I hear chicks dig it."

"’I hear chicks dig it?' How old are you anyway?"

"Old enough to know that you won't be young forever. You should get one of these chicks while you still can."

Soul rolled his eyes. "In case you haven't noticed, I have somewhat more important things to deal with at the moment than you and whatever your angle is."

The demon shook his head in disappointment. "Come on, Soul. You know it'll make you more powerful. Didn't we go through this whole thing with the piano?"

"I'm not learning guitar. Besides, I can't use my Black Blood. I'm partnered with Kid. He couldn't even handle the Book of Eibon. He has a panic attack every time he looks down at the sidewalk. Who knows what infecting him with that stuff could do?"

"What makes you think I'd infect him with Black Blood?" he asked innocently.

"Uhm. Hello. Maka. Every time we perform Soul Resonance. And I do not want to see Kid in that dress."

"Why? Is it special to your girlie?"

Soul glared. He slowly and smoothly put the guitar behind his back, and swung it out like a bat, knocking the demon clear across the room. "Kid has chicken legs, Maka is not my girlfriend, and I'm going back to sleep."


- - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - X x X - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - -


"I can't believe you're still awake at this hour." Maka rubbed at her eyes. She couldn't see the clock, but she supposed she wouldn't want to know the time anyway. It was well after midnight, but the Thompson sisters were still wide awake.

"We're used to Kid riding us hard all night," Liz apologized. Patty sniggerd at the invisible innuendo. Liz blushed and smacked Patty lightly over the back of the head.

"Well…" Maka started picking at the carpet. Why did it always look so dirty? "It's not like we can train at this hour."

"We haven't perfected Soul Resonance, and that's kind of important. Why don't we try that?" Maka groaned. Liz smirked; "Or we could play Truth or Dare?"

Maka grabbed one of each of the Thompson sisters' hands, muttering "Let's go, Soul Resonance".

The three found themselves in a wide, open library, not unlike the one at school. Maka looked around her, and then down at her hands. She was wearing the same dress that she wore whenever she visited Soul's room. "Well, that's interesting."

"What the Hell? Why do you get a pretty dress and I'm in this?" Liz looked like a librarian. There was no change to Patty's dress.

"Erm…I don't know."

"Well it's your head! Change it!"

"I don't think I can. And it's not my head, it's my soul."

"So what? In your deepest, darkest fantasies, I'm a librarian?"

"I've never even been here before!" She felt embarrassed, though she was sure this would be nothing compared to the kind of conversation she and Soul would be having if he were there. She could have run over it in her head, but her brain was too tired for her imagination to work properly.

"Oh well…I guess it worked then. So…." Liz smiled deviously. "Truth, or dare?"

<< pt 1         pt 3>>

khantact: Silent Hill Revelation (Default)
 "Like I said, no one wants to be partners with someone who has no sex appeal."

Maka couldn't take it anymore. She spun around, nearly knocking Soul over. "Fine, Soul! If that's how you feel, why don't you get somebody else to be your partner? Because I quit." Maka ran off in the opposite direction. Soul stood still, feeling rather confused. He blinked slowly, wondering. What just happened?



Maka bit and chewed at her lips and her cheeks, trying to keep herself from crying, but she was failing. She balled up all of her energy into a fist and slammed it into a tree, making it explode - whether in reality or in her mind, she didn't know anymore. She screamed loudly and watched the birds above fly away. She sat down on the ground behind a park bench and reminded herself, "'It's not the size or the shape that matters'…yeah, right".

Maka sighed to herself, trying to plan out her next move. Where was she going to go? Who was she going to be partnered with? All of her friends already had partners. She couldn't go home; she knew Soul would be waiting for her, if he didn't find her here first. She hugged her knees to her chest. Why did she let him get to her like that? Most of the time she assumed he didn't mean half of the things that he said, that he just couldn't help it because he was a stupid boy, but it still hurt her feelings.

"Maka?" Maka shoved herself under the park bench and rolled to face the other direction. She closed her eyes and tried her best to remain silent and still. She heard footsteps fall right behind her.

"Shit. Fuck. Dammit. Good job, Soul." Soul muttered other things to himself that Maka couldn't understand, and kicked the wooden blocks surrounding the tree. They, too, made a loud noise similar to an explosion. Soul sighed and muttered, as he away, "How am I going to apologize for this?"

Maka waited a couple of minutes before prying herself out from under the bench and heading for her last resort destination: Her father's.

Maka couldn't exactly blame her father for being surprised when she showed up. She did, however, appreciate that he didn't ask many questions. Spirit just set up the couch for her to sleep on and asked if she weren't sure she didn't want to take his bed and have him sleep on the couch. Maka shook her head but thanked him, and kissed him goodnight on the cheek.

Maka could tell her father was worried about her, and She started preparing excuses for her behaviour in the morning. She couldn't think of anything believable.




Maka stood in front of the bathroom mirror the next morning, staring at her reflection. She'd managed to find some of her mom's old stuff – things Spirit was supposed to have given back or thrown away after the divorce, but never did.

Maka took her time, carefully applying her mother's leftover makeup, doing her hair the way she was sure her mother would have done it, and trying to make her Spartoi uniform look more… like something Blair would wear (she felt both disgusted and relieved that Spirit had saved one of her mom's old push-up bras). Maka felt awkward looking at herself in the mirror. She couldn't decide if she looked older or younger, but she didn't feel any more mature this way.

Maka tried to walk normally up the stairs and to class, but she was finding it difficult to relax with everybody staring at her. Kilik's jaw actually dropped, Ox and Kim were throwing her concerned glances. It's just a little make up, she thought, why is everyone so freaked out? She continued to her locker, forgetting that he locker-neighbour may be a bit problematic.

"Where were you yester-" Soul began, but stopped in his sentence to stare at her, head cocked and mouth slightly ajar. Maka glared at him, trying to think of something witty to say, but nothing came to mind. "Maka," Soul asked tentatively, are you okay?"

"Never better," the words poured out of her mouth. She moved away before Soul could reach out and touch her.

Soul wondered if what he just saw was a figment of his imagination.




Maka skipped lunch. She'd managed to avoid sitting next or talking to any of her usual friends, including Soul, all day, and she didn't want to break that record now. Instead, she wandered the hallways, looking for something she couldn't quite think of.

"Hey," a boy around Maka's age was leaning on a wall, leering at her, hands in his pockets. The boy came toward her, extending his hand. Maka couldn't remember his name, only that he'd never been kind to anyone in Spartoi. "I'm Jon," he said with a grin. Something about this experience was beginning to frighten Maka, and she pushed herself flat against the wall. "I'm glad I caught you without that freak of a partner of yours around."

"Soul isn't a freak," Maka muttered into her chest.

The boy, Jon, snorted out a laugh. "Oh, you're too kind," he paused to look around. "Where is he anyway?"

Maka avoided Jon's gaze. "I'm not sure."

Jon smiled. "Well, now that he's not here…" Jon inched closer toward her, and Maka froze up. "I was wondering…would you like to be my partner?"

Maka felt her heart jump. "Partner?"

"Yeah," Jon ran a hand through his hair, no longer quite as confident. "Me and some of the other guys have been wanting to ask you for some time, but every time we even started walking toward you, your boyfriend scared us away -"

"Wait," Maka blinked, sputtering. "What?"

"And when you didn't respond to anybody's letters, we figured we were dropping them in the wrong locker or something –"

"Wait a minute, what letters?" Maka felt her face go red, wondering if anything Jon was saying could really be true.

Jon gave her a genuine look of surprise, so that Maka would know he wasn't lying. "You mean you didn't know? Wow. I was figuring you were just being cold, and that maybe I could defrost you a bit," He smiled. "Doesn't mean I still can't defrost you… Now that you look like that and all…" He ran his lips over her cheek as he spoke. Maka felt sick.

"Jon. Please. Move away."

"Why?" he asked seductively; then, innocently, "Scythe-boy doesn't do this to you?"

"Jon, thank you for the offer, but –"

"But what? We all heard you screaming at him the other day. You need a new partner, and we would be unstoppable together."

"Please, Jon," Maka was now whispering. If somebody didn't find them soon...he clothes didn't allow room for any of the heavy books she usually carried and she'd left her heavy boots at home in favour of high-heels. "Back off."

"Oh, come on," Maka's head was turned to the so she wouldn't have to look at Jon, but she could hear the frustration in his voice, and felt it as his hand closed around her forearm, growling into her ear, "Lighten up."

"I believe the lady has politely asked you to move away" Jon and Maka both turned their heads to see Death the Kid pointing both Liz and Patty, in gun formation, at Jon's forehead. "You will move away from her or I will shoot you."

Jon sneered first at Kid and then at Maka, as if his sudden appearance was her fault. "Great. Shinigami's son always gets what he wants, doesn't he?" Jon leered at Maka once more. "See ya later, toots. We ain't done with this." Jon stalked off down the hallway.

"Toots? Seriously?" Liz scoffed. "This isn't some 1930's gangster movie. Who does he think he is?" Liz glared off at Jon as he walked away. Patty, entirely oblivious to the situation, just sat on the floor and giggled.

"Are you okay, Maka?" Kid used his thumb and forefinger to gently pull Maka's chin up, so she was facing him..

"Yeah, I'm fine," she responded. "Just embarrassed."

"Don't be," Kid said, helping her up. Maka looked around, not remembering having ever fallen to the floor. Kid brushed imaginary dirt off of her shoulders, probably to avoid contact. "But what I meant, though, was about the other day. What happened between you and Soul?"

Maka wanted to explain, but couldn't control herself. She spent the next five or so minutes in Kid's arms, crying, while Liz brushed her hair and Patty started making her a giraffe out of lint.




Soul hadn't seen her since that morning, but he knew Maka usually came by the basketball court on her way home. Although that wasn't something he knew, more something he'd assumed because that was the way he always got home, without her. Soul kicked a rock from one end of the court to the other, thinking about how excruciatingly painful the next couple of hours were going to be, and tried to plan out the inevitable talk out in his head.

"Look, Maka," he said to the tree, "I'm sorry about everything." Soul paused, tilting his head. "No, no, that's too generic. How about, I'm sorry that I said you didn't have sex appeal, some guys like girls who look like you - God, no, that's too condescending. What's wrong with me?" Soul tugged at his hair and said to himself, "Shit. I'm screwed."

"You're a dick," someone yelled from across the court. A basketball made hard contact with the back of Soul's head. He turned around slowly to see Black Star staring at him, both hands on his hips.

"What the Hell, Black Star?" Black Star looked ready to start a fight as he brought his hands down from his hips, curling them into tight balls, his face pulled into the kind of permanent scowl usually reserved for his spats with Kid. Soul stuck his hands in his pockets and leaned back a bit to show that whatever it was, he didn't want to fight with his best friend over it. "You're a real douche, you know that?"

"No," Soul said nonchalantly. "What did I do?"

"Oh, please," Black Star snorted. He walked over to Soul, standing close enough that Soul could barely look into Black Star's eyes without his own going crossed. "Just be glad it's me, and not Tsubaki. She's about ready to tear your throat out. How could you say such a thing to Maka?"

Soul rolled his eyes. "You're a real perv. One day she wears make up and suddenly you're in love with her? Besides, we all say things like that to her, same way you make fun of Kid for being Prissy and Liz for being a flirt."

"In love with her? No, thanks. She's not my type, and I've already got a girlfriend." Black Star's hands unclenched a little, but he didn't back away from Soul. "And it's different if I say that to her. We've known each other since we were kids, so for us that's like a sibling rivalry. But you're her partner, and she has to know she can trust you. With everything." Soul felt his stomach drop. "People call me stupid. Sure, I'm not good at school like Ox or Maka. I don't have deep insight like Kid or Kilik. I can't take care of people like Kim. You could, if you actually tried, be good at any one of those things, you know –"

"Get to the point, Black Star" The longer Soul was held up, the more anxious he felt about Maka's condition.

"My point is that, even you have called me stupid; but I'm not the one who turned into a flat-chested, snobby, know-it-all girl in a Spartoi uniform in the Book of Eibon's Lust Chapter, and then preceded to tell the same damn girl that she didn't have sex appeal." Soul blushed and wondered if that really what he looked like. "You can either apologize to her, or get the Hell out of the group."

Black Star turned around to head the opposite direction, but stopped for a moment, turned back to Soul, and said, "I beat the shit out of Mifune and half of the members of Arachnophobia when Maka became paralyzed. I beat the shit out of Crona when we found him again for betraying Maka. Don't think that, because you're my best friend, I won't beat the shit out of you for breaking her heart." Black Star punched the brick wall to emphasize his point, and stalked off.




Upon reaching his and Maka’s apartment, Soul was greeted with a slap to the back of the head by an unseen assailant. "Would people please quit hitting me!" he begged, arms draped over his head for protection.

"NO!" The voice replied. At first, Soul thought it was Maka. Hoped, even, that it was Maka, that they could get this conversation over with and return to some semblence of normalcy. "Blair is very upset with you! How could you treat Maka like that?" Blair hit him on the back of the head again. "Baka! Stupid boy!"

"Look," Soul shouted. "I'm sorry! I didn't mean to say it, it just kind of…came out."

Blair glared at Soul, a look of obvious disbelief on her face. "Well, no food for Soul until he apologizes!" Soul grumbled, but made no real protest.




The members of Spartoi gathered around Sid and Nygus as they relayed the instructions of their mission out loud. It was just a practice drill for fighting in extreme weather, but it was still pretty dangerous. Everybody split up into their own partnerships and went in their separate directions. Maka, who was still dressed to the nines, refused to look at Soul. Soul grimaced; he'd been trivially hoping they'd be past it by now. "Maka, please. Talk to me."

"Why should I?" Maka snapped over her shoulder.

"Because I'm your partner," Soul reasoned dumbly.

"That didn't stop you from telling Medusa information that you withheld from me," Soul could hear the sneer in her words, and the hurt.

"I didn't tell you because I didn't want you worrying about me. And that happened like a year ago! How long are you going to stay mad at me for that?"

Maka didn't answer. The two walked in silence until they hit the end of their section – a wet, stalactite- and stalagmite-filled cave. They both could feel something underground vibrating, about to shoot up. They weren't given any information on the kind of being they'd be battling, but 'practice' did not mean that Shibusen was going to slack off on amount of danger it would put its students in.

Alright, Soul thought. Maybe once we get into this battle, she'll forget that she's mad at me. Soul reached his hand out to take her. "Come on. We need to be prepared for when it gets here." Maka shook her head at him in response, but still wouldn't look at him. "What, you're not even gonna use me to fight? How are you going to fight this thing?"

"I'm not going to," she said finally, looking at Soul with an odd look he couldn't read.

"What?" Soul shouted. "Have you gone crazy? You're going to be killed!"

"Why do you care?" Maka attempted a deadpan, but failed. Soul could feel her anger seeping through with his soul's wavelength. Thank Shinigami, he thought. We're not completely broken yet. "I'm not sexy enough, remember?" Maka's harsh tone broke his thoughts up. "Or cool enough." Soul became increasingly uncomfortable as he realized Maka was about to start crying. "You'd rather be working with Ox or Kilik or Blair or that creepy girl who stalks you everywhere!" Or, that she'd already started.

"What?" Soul spluttered. Maka looked at him expectantly, but he couldn't think of anything to put in the place of all the things Maka had just said. It was why he usually kept his mouth shut and did whatever she told him to do. "No I wouldn't. Who told you that?"

"You did!" she shouted. "Every time that you mocked me because I'm not pretty! Because I'm not cool! Because I'm not sexy and I don't have big boobs and I'm not strong! Why did you bother sticking with me for so long if you couldn't stand me so much?" Maka lost all sense composure. Combined with the shaking of the cave and her anger, she fell to her knees, sobbing. Soul felt both guilty and confused. "I can't understand you," she continued. "I read all the books in the library about music and I still don't get it. I try to be cool and I look like an idiot. I try to be sexy and people just act creepy around me. I don't know what to do anymore."

Soul crouched down to her level. "You really are an idiot." Before Maka could protest, Soul grabbed her shoulders and kissed her forcefully to shut her up. "I tell you you've got no sex appeal because I don't know how to talk to you, or how to respond to some of the ridiculous things you say, and so other weapons don't try to steal my meister from me." Maka was blushing heavily, lightly smiling, and avoiding Soul's eyes by examining his cheekbones. "I've been scaring guys off since the exam results last year. And for the record, I never said you weren't strong. I just didn't understand your sudden urge to protect me. It's my job to protect you. That's what weapons do. And all that other stuff is just unimportant. But I'm a guy. I don't mean half the things I say." Soul shifted uncomfortably under Maka's gaze. She still didn't look convinced. "Listen," Soul started again, looking around. "I'll…I dunno…bite you or something if you tell anyone I told you this first, but I love you."

Maka hiccupped. "You don't love me, you don't even like me."

He slammed her shoulders against the cave wall and kissed her again. "Don't be ridiculous, and don't make me repeat myself again: I love you. Now get the Hell up. We can't let Black Star outdo us on this assignment." Soul stood up and offered Maka his hand. She smiled and took it.


khantact: Silent Hill Revelation (Default)
 Sherlock stood in the hallway of the empty flat for a good fifteen minutes after John had left, still trying to figure out what John had even been yelling at him about. Sherlock was utter shite at relationships. He was an awful flatmate and not all that good of a friend, and although he'd been terrified when John had first suggested they be 'more than friends' as he'd put it, John had insisted that Sherlock had nothing to worry about. They'd been living together for five years (most assuredly not counting the three Sherlock spent pretending to be dead), so John already knew the worst about him. What could possibly go wrong?

A lot, apparently. Well, five months into their relationship and this was their first fight. Sherlock was used to being able to do everything perfectly the first time, and considered this a massive failure. And, like so many other perfectionists, Sherlock considered every failure not only to be something to be horribly ashamed of but the object of failure something he should never again try.

Unfortunately for Sherlock (and, I suppose, fortunately for John Watson?), he didn't consider this to be the fault of the object. John was far more educated in the affairs of relationships, so if something happened to make John yell at Sherlock, pack his bags and leave, clearly Sherlock was at fault. Sherlock just didn't know what he'd done to make John leave.

He started out by cleaning every inch of the flat, disposing of all of his experiments (admittedly, he did this with reluctance, and with much chagrin decided they could re-conducted at Bart's), and putting John's laptop back in his room upstairs even though Sherlock doubted John had even noticed he was using it. Sherlock made John's bed, alphabetized the books on the bookshelf, was polite to Mrs Hudson when she came up for a chat, attempted to sleep, and even managed to cook a meal (so what if it was microwave-able noodles? It was something, wasn't it?) for himself without setting off the smoke detector and ingested the thing. He was rather proud of himself. So was Mrs Hudson. But John still wasn't home. If Sherlock had any more idea about how the outside world worked, he might have chastised himself for thinking John might magically re-appear if only Sherlock completed the chores and whatever other menial tasks that needed doing around the flat. But Sherlock honestly didn't know where John went to when he wasn't at home or with Sherlock, so John's disappearance was, for Sherlock, as though the man had simply walked out of the universe and ceased to exist. What Sherlock did chastise himself for was not texting John first. What an idiot - if he couldn't deduce where John was going, why didn't he just ask?

Except, for Sherlock, 'demanding' and 'asking' are the same thing.


Have a surprise for you. Come home. - SH


Sherlock waited half an hour (an all-time record for him) in an attempt to be patient before picking his mobile up again, turning it off and then back on, disconnecting the battery and the SIM card and reconnecting them, before accepting that John was simply ignoring him. No, no, John's phone must be off. John didn't ignore him. Sherlock glanced at the clock; half-midnight. Hm. John must be asleep. He'd answer in the morning.

So Sherlock sat up for eight straight hours, surfing the internet and learning any small tidbits he thought might please John: the date of Valentine's Day, the date of their (actual) anniversary, who the Prime Minister was and the inner workings of the British Government (the American and Ugandan ones as well), pictures of Afghanistan and reports of what fighting over there would have been like, physiognomy, astronomy, and the James Bond franchise. The only thing Sherlock refused to touch was Cluedo.

Feeling rather proud of himself, Sherlock give texting John another go.


The Sun, Mercury, Venus, Earth, Mars,
Jupiter, Saturn, Uranus, Neptune. Pluto
isn't a planet anymore. Shame. I quite
liked that one. - SH


The response was almost immediate, and extremely negative.


I really can't talk to you right

now, Sherlock. Go tell Mrs Hudson

or Mycroft. - JW


Sherlock would never compare himself to a twelve-year-old girl, but as he'd never experienced a romantic relationship first-hand his only advice was coming from Shakespeare's heroes and heroines (another object of study in those frankly bleak eight hours; Ophelia, Desdemona, Othello-) and none of the subtext he was receiving was making Sherlock feel any more relieved. It brought back horrible memories from his childhood, in which his friends and even Mycroft left him, told him they couldn't work with him because he was too weird and too difficult. He could remember the words 'I just can't deal with you anymore' leaving the lips of his mother as she shipped him off to boarding school, Sebastian before he asked for a new lab partner, Victor before he all but ran screaming out the door and Sherlock never saw him again. Once upon a time a worried Lestrade asked Mycroft, fresh from putting Sherlock in rehab, if Sherlock was trying to kill himself. Mycroft's response had been to laugh and say that Sherlock was 'too fond of himself' for that, and for the most part, it was true.

He just happened to like John a bit more.




John groaned as his slippery fingers dropped the keys. Again. His back was killing him, and Harry's mental and physical health be damned - he was never rushing to her aid again. These past thirty-six hours had been something Harry could have very well handled on her own. She was more than capable of handling herself by now, and if she really did insist on his help he would prefer it if it wasn't because she saw a woman at the grocery store who vaguely (but not really, in John's mind) resembled Clara. It really shouldn't reduce her to a snivelling mess when she had a perfectly decent girlfriend now and her divorce from Harry was finalised six years ago - and according to her, the split was mutual.

John swore loudly when he dropped the keys again, this time more out of frustration directed at his body than at Harry. His blood sugar was horribly low, he hadn't slept in - well, forty-eight hours, actually - he was freezing cold and felt grungy from not having access to a shower while Harry was busy getting her stomach pumped... All he really wanted was to crawl into bed and sleep like the, eat, shower, make love to his boyfriend, and then sleep like the dead.

As the key finally clicked John literally fell into the door. Sex could wait, then. He wouldn't be averse to using Sherlock as a pillow, though. He was absurdly comfortable for someone who was made out of triangles, rectangles, trapezoids, and other sharp objects.

The first floor was silent. John took out his phone and frowned. He hadn't received or sent a text to Sherlock since his (admittedly quite harsh and rude) one at about noon, telling him to take his newfound appreciation for the stars and tell it to Mrs Hudson or Mycroft. What was even more worrying was that Sherlock didn't have a response, snide, witty, put out or otherwise. That really should have been his first clue; Sherlock would have noticed John was no longer in the flat and would have texted him with the details of whatever location he was en route to, had there been a case. It was impossible that Sherlock was asleep, because even now that they were together he never slept unless John either drugged his tea with alcohol (perfectly harmless, right?) or laid down on top of him. Recently John was beginning to find Sherlock could drift off to sleep easily as long as John said 'I love you' first. He felt guilty about that, but he hadn't the time to call or text him while he was away.

The second clue startled John more than the lack of texts and noise, to the point where John felt his heart start to palpitate and his head start to buzz. The flat felt clean. It smelt clean. It looked clean. Because it was clean.

John dropped everything and started screaming for Sherlock as he checked the kitchen, sitting room, Sherlock's bedroom, the room-upstairs-that-wasn't-really-John's-anymore-because-he-and-Sherlock-were-in-love-yes-it-was-fantastic-you-don't-need-to-tell-everyone-Mrs-Hudson, and as he jumped to the bottom of the stairs from said room with stupidly long name, John heard Mrs Hudson toddling up the stairs. He flung the door open and shouted at her, 'Call the ambulance and the Yard, Mrs Hudson, I can't find Sherlock.' She took one look at the cleaned flat and froze, eyes wide. John lost his patience. 'Mrs Hudson, now!'

John didn't wait to see if his landlady followed doctor's orders and ran into the one plausible place he'd failed to look. The image displayed for him in the bathroom didn't do anything to alleviate the stress; it was Sherlock, head down in the full bathtub and barely breathing, if he was breathing at all.

John shouted his name again and dragged Sherlock up from the water, beginning basic CPR and failing to keep the tremor out of his hands. Afghanistan, bombs exploding, getting shot, and this terrified him more than anything else. Especially the wide puncture wound, and the exaggerated vein on Sherlock's right arm.

Sherlock turned his head to the side and vomited a little. It didn't bother John; cliched though it was it might have been the most gorgeous sight he'd seen in forever. He caressed the side of Sherlock's face, attempting his best to tone down the amount of pure rage he was feeling at the moment. (Sherlock had been clean, he'd tested him, Sarah tested him, Molly tested him, Lestrade tested him; whywhywhy would he do this to himself? to John? to Mrs Hudson?) Instead he asked, as calmly and as gently as he knew how, 'Sherlock? What happened?'

Sherlock looked up at him, eyes clouded. 'John? What are you doing here?'

'I live here, do you.'

Sherlock frowned up at him. The confusion did something to John's chest that he'd never felt before and hoped to God he never felt again. 'You left, John...'

'To go see Harry, yeah.'

Sherlock shook his head as much as he could within his limited moving space. ' yelled at packed people do when they don't love you anymore...'

John felt himself go pale and light-headed. He feared he might faint. 'No, Sherlock - god, no, not at all.'




John was standing outside of the door to Sherlock's room in the hospital, doing what was probably a really awful rendition of one of Sherlock's many thinking poses. He felt worse with each passing second. He and Sherlock had had a row - he couldn't remember who started it or why anymore, just that he'd done some yelling, some packing, and then some leaving; ignored Sherlock for the better part of thirty-six hours; and came home to find his brilliant, ridiculous, socially awkward and apparently extremely insecure boyfriend, colleague, flatmate, friend, the love-of-his-fucking-life-god-damn-it had attempted to kill himself. Because he left.

John knew he should be annoyed right now, but the hopeless feeling at the pit of his stomach was overwhelming the need to be angry and lash out at someone or something. He'd lived with Sherlock long enough to know how he thought, and the words 'only conclusion of all of the facts' were haunting John right now. John yelled, packed, left, didn't say where he was going, ignored, redirected and despite what Lestrade said, he couldn't consider what Sherlock had done as selfish. John hadn't told anyone - because really, what was there to tell? - but he'd nearly killed himself after Sherlock -

No. He wasn't going to think about that. He wasn't going to talk about that. Everyone - even Donovan, Anderson, and the newspapers - referred to it as the Richard Brook (or 'Reichenbach,' for those who wanted to be clever) incident and no one ever talked about it. John was sure Sherlock knew about what John had done and what he'd nearly done. According to Molly (who'd been told by Lestrade, who'd been told by Mycroft), the only reason Sherlock came back, really, was because of John's...troubles, to put it lightly. John was furious at the thought that initially, Sherlock wasn't going to come back at all. When he asked Sherlock if it was because he was too boring for him, Sherlock gave John an odd(ly affectionate) look, as though he'd suddenly sprouted two heads, donned a tutu, and begun reciting 'I Sing the Body Electric.'

'I would like to inform you,' Sherlock said, 'that despite what is normal for me, I find you infinitely fascinating, and have no intention of leaving you. I merely assumed, given your track record and clear wish for something in life approaching stability, that you would have married by now, moved on, and forgotten about me completely.'

John snorted at the idea, and before he'd realised what he was saying, asked, 'But who could ever want anything other than you?'

He was broken from his pleasant reverie by shuffling footsteps. He didn't turn to look. 'Bugger off, Harry.'

'He's a selfish twat,' she commented with a nod in Sherlock's direction.

John ground his teeth, really not in the mood for Harry's antics. 'Pot calling the kettle black.'

'I didn't try to kill myself.' There was a sadistic, twisted sense of pride in her words. John met them in a heartbeat, standing in front of her and invading her space so quickly the normally unshakeable woman flinched.

'Take a look, Harriet Watson, because where he is right now is your future if you don't clean the fuck up.' He grabbed a wrist, thumbing her pulse. 'You are slowly poisoning your body, killing yourself, and why? Mum and dad loved you, didn't move an inch when you came out. Clara gave everything to you that she possibly could. You're brilliant, gorgeous, have always been popular, and your way of repaying the world is by drinking yourself to an early death.' John threw Harry's wrist back down to her side, relishing the unadulterated fear on her face. 'That man,' John indicated Sherlock's hospital room, 'Has never been popular, liked, or appreciated by anybody. I'm the only person he cares about, possibly the only one he's ever cared about, probably because I'm the only one who's ever been nice to him. He nearly killed himself tonight because, once again, I had to drop everything and run to your aid and couldn't be there to apologise for whatever-the-fuck we were arguing about -' John checked his watch, vaguely aware that he was actually screaming at Harry now, 'two days ago. You didn't need my help, you just wanted my pity. I don't have any more to give to you. Take your sorry-ass pity party and leave. I don't know who told you to come in the first place and I don't really care. Just sod the Hell off.'

Harry sniffed, aiming for the air of the completely unaffected. 'He's not much to look at, but he must be fantastic in bed to turn you to a fag-'

John had never hit a woman before. Even with Irene Adler, he'd never really wanted to. He knew that it was very old-fashioned, but it's how he was raised. Now, however, Lestrade was coming out of the shadows to drag John off of his bloodied sister, quickly calculating in his head how many ribs he'd broken, how much damage he'd done to her nose, how black her eyes would be in the morning, whether or not her forearm would ever recover from the damage.

'Fuck you, Harriet,' he spat. Lestrade wasn't doing a good job of holding him in place, but there was no reason to worry anymore. All of John's vitriol was contained in his words. 'And it's not men, Harriet, it's not even men and women. It's him. It's just him. Too fucking bad you'll never get anybody half as decent, you gave that up. I hope you're happy in your misery. Don't ever contact me again.'

'You don't mean it' she whispered.

John ignored her.




When Sherlock awoke, he was only vaguely aware of where he was and why. Bits and pieces floated back to him like dust mites when a voice called cheerfully, 'If you ever do that to me again, I think I'll strangle you myself, Sherlock Holmes.'

Sherlock frowned. He felt the horribly depressing chest compressions again. He was just about to ask John if this was the final straw, if this episode was simply too much for him to handle and he couldn't love Sherlock anymore when John negated it all with a single, matter-of-fact statement: 'You're going to marry me.'

Sherlock blinked slowly. 'Am I still high?' he asked. John laughed. 'Are you high? Because yesterday, you -'

'Left, yes, I know. I didn't leave because of you, though, Sherlock. I left because of Harry. She'd fucked something up again and needed me to come to the rescue. I'm back now, though. I don't intend to leave again. Ever. For any reason. And before you get to some ridiculous thought like I'm only marrying you out of pity, I want you to know that this is for both of our sanity's; I want to know that you'll never pull this again and that if anyone else tries to pull it on you I'll be able to come visit you in a non-illegal, completely ethical way, and I want you to be able to look down at your hands, see the ring I put there, and despite your immense hatred of sentimentality remember that I love you, you stupid git, and I will never not love you, because we are abnormal people and we love abnormally, so much more so much better than normal people do. Is that okay with you?'

Sherlock nodded and smiled, bringing John down for a quick kiss that sped up his heart monitor, before pulling back with a confused face. John tilted his head questioningly, and Sherlock inquired, 'So is this our anniversary? Or is it the day we get married, the day we met, the day we moved in together, or -' John cut him off by kissing him again, slipping his tongue in obscenely, mimicking moves he'd wanted to act on two-and-a-half - almost three - days ago.

Sherlock blinked. 'The Sun, Mercury, Venus, Earth, Mars, Jupiter, Saturn, Uranus, Neptune, Pluto.'

John laughed. 'Odd choice of vows, but I'll take it.'

khantact: Silent Hill Revelation (Default)
 Soul purposefully sat himself in between Tsubaki (much to Black*Star's chagrin) and Maka during class. There was no way in Hell he was going to sit next to Kid while he whispered, passed notes, and corrected Soul's posture based on the theory that a symmetrical stance meant a healthier and happier life and a better attitude. Soul had shown Kid exactly what he thought of this theory last night by adjusting all of the paintings to hang two centimetres off of where they were "supposed" to be, and Soul had no intention of taking accountability for his actions.

Maka cocked her head at Soul. Soul pretended not to notice. He got that sick feeling again, the one he had last night where his mind went blank and all sound dulled and his pulse raced and he felt about to vomit, which was just weird.

"Soul? Why aren't you sitting next to Kid?"

"Why aren't you sitting next to the Thompson sisters?" he countered.

Maka grimaced. "Don't ask." Soul nodded.

Professor Stein walked in, cigarette between his lips. "Someone has stolen my rolly chair." Soul noticed Maka slouch in her seat, her bangs forming a shadow over her eyes. It was Soul's turn to gaze – no, look – at Maka with curiosity. "Unless you give yourselves up willingly –" his stare rested on Black*Star, who made a bring-it-on gesture "I will dissect you." When no one came forward (although Patty and Liz did some very unsubtle giggling), Stein began the lesson.

Soul didn't pay attention during class. He attempted to; the lesson was actually relatively interesting, not that Soul needed it. As a Death Scythe, the kind of thing Stein was explaining came naturally to him. Soul smiled on the inside, knowing that for once he wouldn't have to cheat to pass a test (Maka and Kid both kept insisting that if he just studied he wouldn't need to cheat to begin with). Instead, Soul found himself staring at Maka's hands as she took down notes on a lesson for which she, too, was already privy to the information. Soul watched her hands going back and forth, pausing occasionally to think of new abbreviations and drawing a diagram here and there. Watching her write was fascinating. He noticed that, now that she was working with guns, she no longer wore gloves. Her handwriting was so smooth and so legible that he wondered how strained her hands were by the end of a typical class. He got so wrapped up that he actually began reading her notes without realizing it, and was surprised to find that he actually understood what they meant.

Soul didn't realize that class had been dismissed until Maka was straightening up her notes. She reached out and touched Soul lightly on the shoulder. Soul whipped around, nearly falling out of his seat. "Are you okay, Soul?" She frowned at him. "You've been acting strangely all morning. Are you running a fever?" She pressed her hand softly to his forehead. "You're all flushed…" Soul indeed did feel flushed. In an unnatural move, he leaned forward. He'd never noticed before how soft her hands were. Maka's frown deepened. "Come on Soul, let's get you home."

"I moved Kid's paintings" he blurted.

"I know, he won't shut up about it." She smiled slyly. "Don't worry, by home, I meant our apartment."

Our apartment, our apartment…I miss our apartment…

"Maka, Soul, may I speak to you for a moment, please?"

Maka wrapped a hand around Soul's arm and pulled him down toward Marie and Professor Stein. "Yes?" she asked tentatively.

"I was just wondering…how are you two getting along with your new partners?"

"Liz and Patty are pretty energetic, so our lifestyles don't always match up, but we're doing fine when it comes to battling. Soul, on the other hand –"

"I want to shove a scalpel through his head most days" Soul finished. Stein burst out laughing.

"You know, Soul, you remind me of myself when I was your age." Soul felt his stomach drop, but not in the weightless way it did around –

"But you two still seem close," Stein commented. The words She is not my girlfriend crossed Soul's mind but not his lips.

"Yeah" Maka switched her weight to her other foot. "I actually need to get Soul back, he's not feeling too well."

"That's too bad. I guess I'll see you both later."

Marie waved happily as the two left the classroom and she entered it, Maka switching from her hand being around Soul's arm to her arm being around Soul's shoulder. Marie paused. "Huh. I wonder if they'll go back to being partners when the month is up, or if Soul will stay with Kid?" she asked no one in particular

"I don't think Soul could stand to stay with Kid if he wanted to. I honestly think the tradition is going to be changing soon – those two clash worse than…" Stein responded. He paused to scratch his head. "Well, I don't think I've ever seen a pair so poorly matched. Kid's meant to work with the Thompson sisters."

A thought suddenly occurred to Marie. "Stein, when did your hair turn white?"

"Hm?" He lit a cigarette. "It didn't turn white, it's always been that way."

Marie put a finger to her lips, letting the cogs work things through. Blonde, can combat insanity…white hair, goes insane now and then… "They remind me of someone. I just wish I knew who."


- - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - X x X - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - -


Soul felt slightly embarrassed to be taken care of. For some reason, the image of Ragnarok hitting Crona over the head came to mind. It probably had something to do with the way that he was thinking: God Soul, you are so stupid. Why do you keep acting like that? You know she's going to freak out, you know how she reacted when Crona…however long ago it was. It's amazing she doesn't hold a funeral service every time you break a bone…

Maka walked Soul past his room and straight to hers. "I'm sorry, but Liz and Patty have kinda…redone your room." Soul figured the look on his face must have been pretty horrified. "I'm really sorry, I'll put everything back together before you come home –" before you come home… "But for now, I think you'll be more comfortable in my room…it doesn't smell quite as bad and it's not quite as…pink."

"It's okay…" Soul mumbled.

Maka set him down on her bed, making sure to remove his shoes. Soul tried to sit up, but Maka shoved his shoulders back down onto her bed. Maka blushed horribly, imagining how this would look if her papa were to suddenly show up…and she wouldn't put it past Blair to make that happen. "You…you should lay down." Maka scurried off to the kitchen to get a wet washcloth.

Soul stared at the ceiling of Maka's bedroom. The cracks looked like clouds and bunnies and…why was he thinking about bunnies? Shit, Liz and Patty didn't find my –

"Liz and Patty, um…found your…" Maka coughed. "Magazines." She was staring mortified at the floor. She knew that he must have had them, but she never wanted to know about it. She wanted to call him out on being pervy or something, but she knew in her heart that it was normal for guys his age, and she didn't want to yell at him when he was already feeling so poorly. "They threw them out…sorry." She wasn't really sorry.

"That's okay…I don't really care. I was gonna throw them out anyway." Soul wasn't even really sure what he was saying, but he somehow felt like he didn't really need them anymore. Truth be told, he'd kind of forgotten about them. Since Blair had come to live with them, there wasn't that much of a need for them. In fact, everything over-sexualised had become grotesque to Soul. He'd meant to throw them out, but he'd also wanted to keep them a secret from Maka. There was no need to upset her. If she didn't know about it, it wouldn't hurt her. Blair, shockingly, was also not that big a fan of the magazines. He'd heard her yelling at Spirit about them one day, and when Blair got angry...

"I'm sorry, Maka…"

She was now applying a cool washcloth to his forehead, sitting next to him on the edge of her bed. She looked puzzled. "What for?"

"Magazines…Boobs…mocking…stuff." Soul closed his eyes, letting his body relax.

Maka actually giggled. "Oh, okay…" She trailed off. Soul's breathing evened out, and Maka began humming to herself as she eased his jacket off, tucked him in, and kissed his forehead softly before putting the washcloth back on his forehead.

But Soul wasn't quite asleep yet. He was trying to figure out where, exactly, he'd heard that song before. The song she was humming, it sounded so familiar. So dark, mysterious, but beautiful and flowing. It occurred to him, as his left hand fell to his side and his right hand fell off the bed, that the song she was humming was the song he played for her when they first met.

<< pt 2       pt 4 >>

khantact: Silent Hill Revelation (Default)
 Something about Luna's nature always helped to calm Harry down. It was true, when people said Luna was strange. She often made Harry feel slightly uncomfortable by saying things that were far too true for himself and others to hear, her head was always in the clouds, and she believed in creatures considered even by the wizarding world to be imaginary. But though she was often ridiculed for being strange, Harry had yet to find anything truly weird about Luna.

So it was that, bridled with angst and anger at everything in the world, Harry found himself at the door leading to Ravenclaw tower, demanding to speak to Luna. The picture refused to move, but Harry was in luck: the passageway was being opened.

Or, perhaps, not so in luck. Standing in front of him now was none other than Cho Chang. The two stared at one another for an awkward moment, Harry leaning from one foot to the other. "Hello, Harry" she offered. Harry simply nodded stiffly, wondering if he should turn around and go back, but Cho prevented him. "Are you looking for someone?" she asked. Harry felt, as he often did when speaking to Ravenclaws, that Cho was looking right through him. Harry assumed it had to do with the incredible smarts that landed them in the house of blue and bronze to begin with, but according to Luna Harry was absurdly easy to read; other people just chose not to.

"Y-yeah," Harry spluttered in response. He gritted his teeth in embarrassment and frustration, his thoughts moving so quickly that he'd nearly forgotten how to speak. "I've got to talk to Luna."

Cho avoided his eyes. "I don't think she's up there. Sorry. Check the forest."

Harry nodded and turned promptly the other way. Before he started down the stairs, he heard one of Cho's friends pipe up with "What's he need Loony for?" If Harry stopped on the middle of the stairs and breathed heavily in and out, ten times, the way Hermione had suggested (not that it ever really helped). If he wasn't in a hurry (and this weren't the very reason he was going to see Luna), Harry might have exploded at the two girls badmouthing his friend. When he heard the distinct sound of something crashing and girls screaming, he considered with a smile that maybe he had confronted them, after all.




Harry did indeed find Luna in the forest. She was dancing about, barefoot, singing an airy song in Welsh to the trees and caressing them softly. Harry tramped down the hill and slammed against the end of a tree, slumping to the ground feeling his anger vibrate from him in spirals. Luna twirled to face him, a small smile swirling on her face and a twig resting in her hair. She sat quietly next to him.

This was another thing Harry appreciated about Luna: she wasn't afraid of silence. She didn't expect him to talk, nor did she talk to him. She didn't try to figure what he was thinking or how he was feeling because she knew, as no one else did, when to just leave him alone. It almost frightened him at times, and he wondered occasionally if she could read peoples' minds.

Luna leaned her head against his shoulder, knowing from experience that Harry would be comfortable with this action, so long as she wasn't talking. He needed silence, he needed to think, and the reason he needed her was so he could be sure he wouldn't do something rash before he had finished thinking. Luna would know if he'd actually thought his actions through. She always knew.

"I hate everybody," he blurted, knowing Luna wouldn't take it the wrong way as others did. "Nobody ever listens to me, and nobody ever tells me anything. I've seriously-" he now had accompanying hand gestures "- been living my whole life, jerked around from place to place, with little to no explanation. It's like people forget I'm a person sometimes." His voice sounded like it wanted to continue, but he had nothing left to say.

Luna remained silent, breathing slowly and steadily. She let her fingers slowly crawl into the spaces between his. He squeezed her hand gently and let his head fall against hers, the rhythm of his breathing falling into time with hers. He tilted his head, still feeling the slightest bit restless. He made to kiss the top of her head but missed, as Luna had turned hers to tell him something. Their lips met.

At first, neither applied pressure, both in a pleasant surprise. But Luna leaned closer, and Harry tilted forward. He closed his eyes. It wasn't urgent, or particularly passionate. It was just nice, yet Harry liked it more than any other kiss he'd remembered giving or receiving. Not that he was really capable of remembering at the moment. His mind was now rendered blissfully silent.

They broke off and Luna rested her head on his shoulder again. Harry smiled. His heart rate slowed down again, not realizing that it had ever sped up. He was about to say something – he didn't know what, really – when Luna said softly, "You know, your shoes might be the reason you feel so stressed." Harry gave her a puzzled look. "They compress your soul wavelength."

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