Disclaimer: I do not own Vampire Academy or its characters, Richelle Mead does.
There had been moments, moments when another side of her had been exposed me. The fragile and vulnerable side she hid from so many.
When that side came out and she didn't do anything to keep it at bay, you knew she was upset. Not only upset, but so deep in thoughts and grieve that she didn't bother to pretend to be strong. Although she was strong, always so strong, but these moments showed that even the strongest couldn't be invincible.
I had gone over to her room to talk, even though it was Sunday and we usually didn't even see each other on Sundays. Or, well, we saw each other in church, but that day, she hadn't been in church. I wondered why she wasn't there and went to her room to check on her. Maybe she was sick and needed something. But mostly because I wanted to be alone with her.
I told the person in the lobby that I would help her and went up to her room. I knocked on the door, she didn't answer. I knocked again but there was still no sound on the other side.
Thoughts started forming in my head. What if she was hurt? Maybe she had fallen and hit her head? But she was probably just asleep, I knew she had pushed herself hard the last week and she must have been tired. I relaxed and prepared myself for another knock when I thought I heard something.
Running water? That made it; I started looking for the key to her room in my keychain. My imagination came up with all sorts of different scenarios. Maybe she had fallen in the shower. Maybe she had drowned. Maybe she had committed suicide.
I found the key and opened her door, my hands shaking. I went into the room and the sound of water became more audible. I opened the door to her bathroom. I looked around the room to see where she was and when I saw her, a sigh of relief slipped out.
She was sitting on the floor of the shower, curled up to a ball, holding the showerhead to her chest and her hair plastered around her face. Her head leaned forward so I couldn't see her face, but her body shook and a droplet rolled of her chin to hit her knee.
I crouched before her, after taking of my shoes and socks, and put and hand on her shoulder. She didn't react.
"Rose? Can you hear me? Rose?" Still no reaction. What had happened to her?
I took her chin in my hand and tilted her head so I could see her face. Her eyes were closed and it looked like she was asleep.
Another shiver went through her and I realized she was cold. How long had she been sitting there? I shut off the shower where the water had turned cold and tried to contact her again.
"Rose? Please, open your eyes. Rose?" It didn't work and I grabbed a towel and dried her. Normally, I would have thought this was somewhat awkward, but now the only thing I could focus on was her cold body limp in my arms. I found her pyjamas, put it on her with a little difficulty and lay her in her bed.
I didn't want to leave her, but I knew I should not stay. I stood beside her bed, watching her and deciding whether I should stay or not, when she opened her eyes just a little bit and spoke.
"No, not you." I felt a frown taking its place on my face and she saw it. "You shouldn't see me like this." I sat down on her bedside, now when she had woken up I had a reason to stay.
"What happened?" She buried her head in the pillow and groaned. Then she must have realized something because she turned and looked at me.
"So… You dressed me, huh?" I ignored her, even though it was hard when she got that mischievous glint.
"Rose… What happened?" The glint faltered and she looked uncomfortable.
"It was nothing, Comrade. Just let it be."
"It wasn't nothing. Please, Rose, tell me." She shrugged and turned away from me again. It hurt me. I wanted her to trust me. I saw that she wasn't recovered from whatever that had happened earlier. There was a haunted look in her eyes while she tried to cover it with her usual attitude. "You know you can trust me, right?"
When she didn't answer, I made a dangerous decision. I lay down beside her and put an arm around her waist. I felt her stiffen and I almost regretted it when she turned and gave me a determined look.
"I know I can trust you, I just don't want to tell you. It's private." I was usually a very un-nosy person, I didn't care about their private life, but when Rose told me it was private, it didn't stop me.
"But if it hurt you, you need to talk to someone. I want to help you." I realized how much I sounded like my mother and shut up.
"I know that. I should tell you, but I just can't."
"Why?" She reached up to put a strand of my hair behind my ear and mumbled something. I tried to look her in the eyes, but she kept looking down. "Roza… Please." I put a hand on her cheek and tilted her head up.
"You won't believe me."
"Of course I will. I trust you." She glanced at me sceptically. "I promise."
She took a deep breath and opened her mouth.
"I saw Mason." She looked at me again, probably to see if what I thought. I was sceptical, the kid was dead, but still I knew that she wouldn't lie about such a thing. Maybe she was just confused; the incident in Spokane had taken a toll on her. She continued. "Or, I thought I saw Mason. He was walking with some other novices, probably to the church. I remembered… I don't know, it became too much." She was almost crying by now, while she had a far away look in her eyes. I hugged her, but she kept talking.
"I could have done something. I could have helped him. It must have been my fault. I should be dead now. I shouldn't be living when he could have been here. He was a much better person than me, I don't deserve this." Her words hurt. I knew she wanted to blame herself, but there were things she needed to realize.
"Rose, we have talked about this before. Mason made his choices too. It was not your fault. And Vasilisa needs you, you have helped so many people. You deserve to live." Now the tears disappeared and anger took their place.
"You say so. But what if you're wrong? Maybe I haven't done anything good. Maybe I have taken the honour from someone else. That's it! I'm a parasite!" I was too stunned to say anything while she was quiet for a while.
Then something changed. Her body had been stiffened and tense, but now it relaxed and she threw her arms around me. She held on tight while she buried her face in my chest and sobbed.
"I don't want to be a parasite. I want to be an own person. I want to do my own things, no copying. I am useless." With that, she stopped talking and I had no idea what to say to calm her down. I felt the front of my shirt becoming wetter and wetter while she kept crying.
"Rose, you are an own person. I have never known someone as incredible as you. You are not a parasite, you have done amazing things."
"But not on my own, I have always had people helping me. What if I can't do anything myself? I can't even shower without falling asleep." Gah! It was so hard! Why was she so bipolar? Was she on her period? I pulled away and looked her in the eyes.
"Listen to me, Rose. You have done so many fantastic things; you are an amazing person. You kept the Princess safe for two years. You-"
"But there was not even any Strigoi. There were never any threats."
"Maybe, but you decapitated two Strigoi on your own without ever trying it before. You are awesome," The word sounded a little bit bizarre coming out of my mouth, but it gave it wanted reaction.
Something changed in her expression and she smiled at me.
"I didn't even know you knew that word. Is it something the cowboys use often?" I had almost gone fully sure that she was her old self again, when she stopped saying whatever she had intended to and looked down.
"I am so sorry, Dimitri. You shouldn't have seen me like this."
"Like what?" I didn't understand what she was sorry for. Crying?
"I broke down, I have to be strong. I can't become like this every time I get a flashback. What if I am out with Lissa and something happens to her while I am like this. I can't protect anyone that way."
"Rose, you are strong. Very strong. You can handle this, just talk to someone." Isch, I sounded like my mother again.
"That doesn't help! Therapists just look at one as if you are some kind of poor animal they have to help and then they nod like everything is going to be fine. But it isn't."
"Who said anything about a therapist? You can talk to whoever you want to. You can talk to Lissa, me-"
"But I don't want to burden you."
"It is worse for us to see you in pain and not helping than having more to think of. Trust me." She looked at me for a while, as if considering what I said.
"Why are you so kind to me? I don't deserve it. I-" I interrupted her with something I knew I shouldn't have said.
"Because I love you." It felt very good to say it and I was close to mad at myself for not saying it before.
Rose studied my face, shocked, for a few moments until determination filled her eyes.
"I love you too. Thank you." She smiled, and kissed me.
There were moments when she was vulnerable. Moments when she was unsure and helpless. I was almost afraid of those moments, I dreaded them; I couldn't handle them as good as I wanted. But sometimes, they lead to nice things, and in the end, we were both somewhat happy. At least for a while.
I don't know what that was, but it got stuck in my head and I wanted it gone. I think it is some kind of cabin scene, without you know what. I felt like copying something, but I hope I am not. Tell me if I am, please.
Rose always seem so weak in whatever I write, but I don't intend to make her that way. And in this case, I can blame the darkness. ;)
Please leave your thoughts in a review and have an awesome night, day, whatever :D