Author: Dragonist PM
He's still a child when he loses his heart. Despite popular opinion, it wasn't a demon that stole it.Rated: Fiction T - English - Romance/Drama - Howl & Sophie H. - Words: 869 - Reviews: 14 - Favs: 116 - Follows: 4 - Published: 08-22-11 - Status: Complete - id: 7314420
|A+ A- Full 3/4 1/2 Expand Tighten|
He can feel it burning down his throat, steaming-green-tea-on-a-see-your-breath-in-the-frosty-morning hot. By the time the star makes its way out, he feels less frosting-with-out-the-cake empty than he does laying sunburned on the beach, face flushed with fever and the heat scaring all else away.
He wants to laugh, and so he does, and it's thunder-crackling-against-a-dried-out-old-tree. The star in his hands stares up at him, and he can feel his heart - his heart - beating a steady beat - thump, thump, thump.
Now it doesn't matter what anyone says, what anyone ever said, because look at him now! He's got his heart nice and safe in his hands, which is more than he can say about anyone else.
"Howl! Calcifer!" He's hot-shower-turned-to-ice shocked, the hair on the back of his neck rippling up even as the star in his hand flares in surprise. "It's me, Sophie!"
He can just barely see her, starlight-dancing-on-silver-shoe-buckles hair wild over a blue-flame-flickering-on-old-steel dress. There's some floppy eared dog chasing after her, but despite the burning star in his hands, despite the multitude of falling ones in the sky, despite the fact that there shouldn't be any people at all, here, so far from the village, despite it all-
The only thing that he can really bring himself to notice is that she's beautiful. The most beautiful girl, the most beautiful woman, the most beautiful thing he's ever seen in his entire life.
"I know how to help you now!" He doesn't know what to do. He's still little more than a child, really, and he'd taken out his heart before he really had a cause to use it. But still…
His heart's beating so fast even the little demon (Calcifer?) is being affected, it's wild fire at once calming and flaring as she talks - no, screams - her words at them.
"Find me," his metal-raft-on-a-stormy-blueberry-skin-sea cries at him, and he can't stop himself from beginning to nod, more earnestly than he'd ever had in his life, "in the future!"
Then she's falling, falling, falling, fading back to who knows when, and his hands are holding onto his heart so tight the star is pushing at him, sharp flame teeth tearing into his soft skin as it tries to get him to let go. He hardly notices, just relaxes his fingers the slightest bit as he starts to surge forward. He can't help himself.
Because she was right there.
And now she isn't.
He took out his heart so no one else could ever steal it, so no flighty little girl or powerful wicked witch could lay claim to it, and then to him. He'd seen what had happened to all those boys, those men, those girls and those women and those everyone. The second they gave their heart to whatever pretty face asked for it, it didn't matter how smart they were, or powerful, or talented…
He never wanted anyone to have that kind of power over him, ever.
But the little star that was now his heart looked up at him, fiery eyes wide, and his little heart was beating so fast - thmpthmpthmpthmpthmp - and it was all he could do to keep from throwing himself down to the ground, digging his knees into the muddy grass and burying his face in his hands and crying, because after all the work he'd done, all the research and preparation and bargaining, all it took was one stupid girl to come down from the future and ruin his life.
Because the most beautiful girl in the world had been standing right there, and he'd been too slow to say anything. She'd cried out her warning and then left without even leaving a last name. He'd been left starstruck, more than starstruck, he'd been lovestruck right after he'd been starstruck. He'd been left staring and waiting and wanting, and knowing that there would be nothing he could do, not for a long while, because she looked to be entire years older than him.
His laughter turned to tears as he choked down bitter sour-milk-in-unsweetened-hot-chocolate tears. The star had stopped struggling and was looking up at him, making some sort of comforting noise even as the beat of his heart slowed down. But all it took was one look over at the place she was standing for her words to ring back, desperately clear, and then it was off again, screaming-
Who knows how long later (but not long enough, no, no, not yet long enough), he struggled to his feet, raising one hand to wipe away slug-slime-on-rose-petal tears as he cursed the world and himself and his heart and her.
He'd given his heart to a demon for safekeeping.
And she'd stolen it anyway.